30 Nov Inadequate Guardianship Unfounded and Records Sealed – Dec. 2013
Martin Colin, P.C. announces an absolutely perfect outcome for a young teacher who had received an “indicated” report of child abuse or neglect from the New York City Administration for Children’s Services, the local child abuse agency for New York City.
(Previously, we posted an overview of Child Abuse and Neglect investigations, including procedures and timetables. Find it here…)
The young teacher had received an “indicated” report of inadequate guardianship for failing to prevent a pre-school aged child from walking out of the school, across the sidewalk and into the street, directly into a lane of moving vehicles one afternoon in 2013.
The teacher had been working at a pre-school facility in The Bronx, New York for over a year. During his employment, he had already received one promotion from classroom teacher to administrator/program coordinator prior to this incident.
As soon as our office was retained:
- We requested that the State Central Registry report be amended to be “unfounded.” We requested the immediate production of the entire investigation file of the local Child Protective Services office.
- We requested that the New York State Office of Children and Family Services conduct its own investigation and, following its investigation, that NYS OCFS have the report amended, unfounded and sealed.
- We demanded a “fair hearing.”
Although all reports generated by the office of the Administrator for Childrens Services were provided to us, all of our other requests were summarily denied.
We promptly followed up with a demand that additional documentation be turned over to us, including:
- Intake Report.
- Individual Report of Involvement.
- Notification Letter.
- Proof of Mailing of the Notification Letter.
- Child Protective Record Summary.
- Investigation Progress Notes.
- Individual Progress Notes.
- Criminal Justice Search.
- Family Assessment and Service Plan.
Once again, our request was ignored. Even worse, we were notified that the child protective agency had conducted a review of the file and once again determined that the “indicated” report was the proper outcome to its investigation.
We continued the battle. Next, we sought an Expedited Review from the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (expedited because our client’s job was on the line). We alleged that the child had been placed in danger, not because of any act or omission by our client, but because the agency was chronically understaffed.
We alleged that just about every visit from the NYC Board of Education Universal Pre-Kindergarten instructional coordinator raised concerns that the site was understaffed and had inadequate staff to student ratios. We alleged that this understaffing had put the young child at risk and that the agency was unfairly “scapegoating” our client to cover up its own deficiencies. Thus, this education site was willing to ruin a young teacher’s career to save its own reputation. How disgusting.
This time, however, we struck a nerve. A few weeks later, the New York State Office of Children and Family Services announced that a hearing had been held, that the record would be amended to “unfounded” that the file would be sealed and that the file would be closed forever.
This resolution was a complete success for the client and a huge win for our firm.