Massachusetts DCF Investigates Abuse Allegations at Day Care - NECN


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Massachusetts DCF Investigates Abuse Allegations at Day Care



    (Published Friday, Nov. 18, 2016)

    A Massachusetts day care center has fired one teacher and placed another on administrative leave, and the Department of Children Families has launched an investigation following allegations of child abuse.

    The investigation of Bright Horizons in Hingham has parents on the South Shore concerned. Joseph Sheehan tells necn he received a call from the day care center earlier this week, alerting him that his 10-month-old daughter may have been one of more than a half dozen children who may have been abused by a caregiver there.

    Sheehan confirms the caregiver is accused of force-feeding children and rocking them aggressively over the past 10 months.

    "The allegations are particularly disturbing," Sheehan's attorney, James Schwartz, told necn. "We are meeting with the family early next week. We intend to conduct our own investigation on behalf of the family."

    Bright Horizons provides care for children from infants to school age, but it's unclear what ages the alleged victims are.

    "Our most important responsibility is to ensure that all children are safe, well-cared for, and treated with respect at all times," the day care center wrote in a statement Thursday evening. "As soon as the situation was brought to our attention, we communicated directly with all families who have children at the center. The teacher involved has been terminated. We are supporting the authorities as they review this situation, and we will help them in any way we can."

    Hingham Police confirm they are talking these abuse allegations seriously.

    "We've received complaints and we’re conducting an investigation," said Hingham Police Sgt. Steven Dearth. "We're working with the Department of Children and Families and it is actively under investigation."

    The DCF confirmed Thursday it had received a report and was investigating.

    Sheehan says he was told it was a staff member at Bright Horizons who reported the alleged abuse.

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