What Would You Do?

Monday, April 24th, 2017

Imagine this scenario: You are a long-term staff member to a small group of middle-schoolers. Some of the children are from very low-income families, relying on free breakfast and backpack meals to get them through the weekend. Recently, you notice that Alicia has been coming to class with some noticeably expensive items, such as new sneakers, jewelry, and designer clothing. You know her single mother could not afford such items. You’ve also noticed she has an “older” gentleman picking her up from the building some days, and it just doesn’t feel right. What do you do?

Although at first you may think it isn’t your business, as a caregiver it IS your business. You have a sense that something isn’t right, and often that gut feeling is what tells us to speak up. Your first step should be to discuss it with your supervisor to determine your next course of action. It may be that you need to closely monitor Alicia, or the next step may be to contact her mother to find out how things are going at home. If there is an inappropriate relationship going on, or possible abuse, it is your duty to speak up about it in the interest of the child.