DHS v. Shawna Doe
Project Details
Project Description

Deborah Eckland and Chelsea Gauger represented Shawna Doe in a finding of maltreatment action that also included an Order to Pay a $1,000 Fine. Ms. Doe was found responsible for maltreatment after she self-reported an incident involving a school-age child who missed his school bus and was waiting on Ms. Doe's front step for a period of 2 hours. The child, age 6, had parental permission to walk to the school bus by himself. For months, the child routinely walked to the bus and successfully boarded the bus. One day, Ms. Doe escorted the child to the door so that he could board the bus. The child waited patiently on Ms. Doe's doorstep, as he normally would, but on this day the bus did not arrive. Ms. Doe did not realize that the bus did not show, or that the child was waiting on her doorstep. After two hours, the child's parent contacted Ms. Doe to see if she knew where the child was because he was not at school. At this point, Ms. Doe discovered the child waiting on her doorstep. The County determined that Ms. Doe had failed to provide adequate supervision for the child.

At the hearing, Ms. Doe argued that she had fully complied with the licensing supervision rules. The child's parent fully supported Ms. Doe in this action, and testified that this was an accident, and that she did not blame Ms. Doe or believe that there was a failure to supervise. In her several years as a daycare provider, Ms. Doe had never received any correction orders, nor were there any concerns with Ms. Doe's supervision practices. Under the licensing rules, Ms. Doe was required to be available for assistance and care so that the child's health and safety is protected. Ms. Doe successfully demonstrated that she complied with this rule. Accordingly, the finding of maltreatment was reversed and the $1,000 fine rescinded.