A Clean Background Check: Not All That Is Required To Protect Children

A YMCA daycare worker at an Austin, Texas elementary school location is charged with four felony counts of injury to a child and one count of assault.

The school district's human resources director reported seeing surveillance footage showing the 45-year-old daycare worker "choking" a child in the daycare room.

Local police investigated. According to the arrest affidavits, surveillance cameras captured the woman "grabbing children by the neck, shaking them, and aggressively placing them on the floor." The worker also grabbed pressure points on the girl's ears.

A representative of YMCA of Central Texas stated they "terminated an employee after reviewing evidence of physical aggression directed at several of our students." The officer said the organization immediately notified parents, Child Protective Services, and the local authorities.

The chief marketing officer stated that the organization follows state guidelines for safety and conducts extensive background checks before hiring employees. "Central Texas YMCA daycare worker accused of injuring multiple children" cbsaustin.com (Apr. 09, 2024).




This case highlights the fact that an adult is not necessarily safe to work with children even if they pass a thorough criminal background check.

Research consistently shows that many children who experience sexual abuse never tell an adult. And, as in this case, it is equally true that physical abuse cannot be reported by victims who are young like the two-year-old victim in this case.

Considering that so many child abuse victims do not report, it stands to reason that many child abusers never face criminal charges, which would create a record. Without a criminal record of the abuse, a criminal background check will be "clean", and an employer may have a false sense of security if they don't realize the background check is only one of many tools.

Protecting children from abuse of all types requires vigilance - training and monitoring. Both are critical front-line protections for children.

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