11.02.2010

Second Chances

I'm a strong believer in second chances in almost all circumstances.  I believe especially that when we are young or pushed to our limits we are very likely going to make bad decisions and may need a second chance.

I work in an industry where you typically do not get a second chance, and I completely understand and agree with this in most cases.  It's true, I do not have children, but if I did I think it's safe to say that I wouldn't want someone untrustworthy or with a history of bad decisions caring for my child.  Before anyone is hired to work in childcare they must undergo 2 background checks to verify that they have not been convicted of a crime or of maltreatment of the young or elderly.  I think that's a good thing as a general rule.  In addition, anyone who works in childcare who is charged with a crime or maltreatment must report that charge to their supervisor within 24 hours and a new background check must be done.  I also think that's a good thing as a general rule.

Where I start to struggle is in the cases where a person has made a mistake or is fighting the claims made against them.  A couple of months ago, I was forced to release a caregiver from her position due to a background check coming back with instances of maltreatment.  This caregiver had made us aware of the charges and was fighting them.  She did not have money for an attorney and was trying to fight them on their own.  Unfortunately, she did not win.  She did, however, do what was required and keep us informed and fill out the information on the new background check.  When it was returned was when I was forced to release her.  It was one of the hardest things I've had to do as a supervisor.  (There are some instances in which we can apply for a waiver for someone, this was not one of them.)

If I thought it was hard to do at the time, I was recently reminded as another caregiver came across some of this lady's things - materials she was working on both to turn into me and for her class.  I thought I knew it at the time, but this confirmed to me that this lady was dedicated to her job and her children.  She was working very hard to improve her life and the 'rules' we've (society/the state) have created pushed her back down instead of helping her up.  In these materials were goals written to improve herself as a caregiver/teacher and a person.  In these materials were activities to do with her class many months in the future.  In these materials was a reminder that sometimes people really do just keep getting knocked down.

I know the rules are written for a reason.  I wish that only trustworthy, honest people applied for jobs working with children.  I wish this lady had been able to have a second chance.  Will you pray for her and her family.  That wherever life has taken them in the past few months, that it has taken them up.  That she has found a second chance and is doing well.

6 comments:

  1. This just makes me cry. Definitely praying... doing so now. I love your heart!

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  2. That really stinks. Sometimes I hate rules, but they are there for a reason.

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  3. This is heartbreaking, because there is no easy answer. Sigh. I will pray for her.

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  4. I'm so sorry for the caregiver. I too, believe in second chances and am glad you're the kind of person who cares for your employees and tries to give them the benefit of a doubt. You had to let her go and I know you did it in a caring way. That'e not always true. I will pray that this lady finds an opportunity that suits her even better than working with children.

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  5. This woman and her family will be in my prayers tonight. It breaks my heart to read it.

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  6. You and I are a lot alike I think...with regard to how we view people and their choices and mistakes. That's so unfortunate for you and for you to have to do that. I'm sorry for both of you. :( Will be thinking about her even though I'm late to this post.

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