Archive for Saturday, March 29, 2008

Day care: Allegation a misunderstanding

March 29, 2008


Day care provider calls incident a 'misunderstanding'

The Lawrence Police Department and Kansas Social and Rehabilitation Services are cooperating on the current investigation of a Lawrence day care. Enlarge video

The operator of a Lawrence day-care home that was shut down this week under suspicion of child abuse of a 1-year-old boy said Friday that the matter was a "total misunderstanding."

Deborah Kay Henning, 1502 W. 27th St., declined to address specifics of the case, which remains under investigation by the Lawrence Police Department and Kansas Social and Rehabilitation Services.

Earlier this week, an SRS social worker had forwarded information to state regulators that a boy at the day care allegedly had suffered burns on his legs, ankles and buttocks while at the home.

When asked Friday whether the situation was a result of an accident or something else, Henning described the matter as a misunderstanding. She then declined to discuss the issue further, out of deference to other families, she said.

Henning's license to operate a day-care home was suspended on an emergency basis Thursday by Roderick Bremby, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. His decision came after receiving such a recommendation from an SRS social worker who was called in to investigate the alleged abuse, which also had been reported to police.

"We're always going to err on the side of caution," said Joe Blubaugh, a KDHE spokesman. "We're working with SRS, and SRS has said we think there's a reason to issue the order of suspension. We take their word for that. They have a lot of experience in that, and they're also going to err on the side of caution."

The department, which oversees more than 6,800 day-care operations statewide, issued 21 such emergency suspensions during the state's 2007 fiscal year. Such orders are designed to protect children in a licensee's care from physical abuse or a substantial threat to their health or safety.

Lawrence police declined to discuss the case, citing the ongoing investigation. Michelle Ponce, an SRS spokeswoman, confirmed that the agency was working with police on the investigation.

Henning has been registered or licensed to provide day-care services in Kansas since 1992, Blubaugh said. KDHE has received four complaints regarding Henning's operation during that time, only one of which had been substantiated. She was cited in 1998 for having too many children under her care.

As of Friday, Henning had not filed an intent to appeal suspension of her license, Blubaugh said. She has 15 days to do so.

- 6News Reporter Mark Boyle contributed information for this story.


Daniel Davidson 10 years, 2 months ago

I understand caring for the child's welfare. But must you desttroy a persons life on the public butcher block just for your self gradification or ratings? I pray someone steps in to investigate Lawrence/Douglas county SRS and only does a particial job, Shuts them down, and slanders their names on the public forum for all to pass false judgement on. I am sure ljworld would be more than happy to priny and post it even if they dont have all the facts.

LovelyAngel315 10 years, 2 months ago

About 3 years ago I had my daughter in her care. I pulled her out after less than two months. I won't go into detail but there were several things that were suspicious, and after I popped in at different times of the day for several days and still saw the same suspicious things every time, I moved her to a different daycare. I think its really sad and I do somehow hope that burns could really just be a "misunderstanding".

Rick Aldrich 10 years, 2 months ago

how is it a misunderstanding? either it's burns or it is'nt. and either it happened there or it did'nt. pretty cut and dry to me. sounds like a investigation was need to protect the children from future misunderstandings.

tryme 10 years, 2 months ago

dont you know that srs dont care about any thing or any one but themselves. they are very quick to make a call to close a daycare down. even if they don't have all of the information. or even talk to other children there that day. they talk to people and children that were not there that day. i know for a fact that they do this. and i have seen how srs comes out and talks to children they think are in danger. and srs keep trying to put words into one child mouth in my care. and the child would say no mom dont make me do that. they would say its okay to say that your mom makes you do it.. i enformed the parents of how srs interveiwed there kids. srs was in the wrong. some one needs to take srs off there pedistole they are up on . yes i do agree that there are some day cares that do need to be closed. but there are those that the parents lie to protect themselves. and then you are guilty untill you can prove you are not guilty. in srs eyes you are guilty asoon as they walk threw your door. if they dont like how you answer there quetions they say you are guilty. and leave your place and go to get a emergencey order to close you down even if you are inot guilty. now you fight yrs in court. good luck. hang in there. and dont let the hatefull peoples words get to you. they were not there.and are not in your shoes know.

Kyle Reed 10 years, 2 months ago


Wow is all I can say to that post. I don't have children but I can guarantee if I did you would not be someone tasked with their care.

bandito 10 years, 2 months ago


Where in Hades did you get your education? My god, that had to be the most incoherent, laced with grammatical and spelling errors, piece of garbage I have ever had the displeasure of trying to read on here. Next time you desire to express your opinion on here, get someone who actually made it past the 3rd grade to proofread it!

tryme 10 years, 2 months ago

you all make me laugh ! you dont bother me at all! no one said you had to read what i wrote. what happened to freedom of speech? oh wait ! that was taken away as well !

Brenda Bohannan 10 years, 2 months ago

I can fully relate to the feeling of the daycare provider. Until January 2008 I myself was a liscened daycare provider in Douglas County. I had watched kids for almost 12 years. All was well until the Douglas County Child Development Association (DCCDA) came to my house on a routine drop in visit to regulate the food that I was serving the children. This department routinely would bring some type of gift to the children (books, stickers, crayons, this time it was a jump rope). On this day in September the weather was great. The house windows were open the kids and myself had been playing outside. The ages of the children were 4,4,3,3,3,1. The children and myself had been outside all morning enjoying the weather when we decided it was time to fix lunch for an outside picnic. By state regulation children 3 and older can be outside by themselves if the provider is within hearing distance. The two 4-year olds did not want to come inside to help with lunch but the rest of the children did come inside. I live in a small town west of Lawrence. The play yard the children were playing in was completly fenced in and the gate opened into more of my yard. While inside fixing lunch the two 4-year olds were in and out of the house to randomly help. On the last trip outside prior to lunch the same lady from DCCDA who had been coming to my house for 2-3 years every 3 months pulled into my driveway. The two children outside talked to her when she got out of her car. She then proceded to ring the doorbell on my front door that is not even there. Of course I did not hear the doorbell since I don't have one. Finally she knocked so quietly that none of the persons inside could hear her knock. The two children outside came inside with her.

misseve 10 years, 2 months ago

Some people need to have the internet and computer taken away from them... See Hawkperchedatriverfront. Good lord dude go get laid or something.

Brenda Bohannan 10 years, 2 months ago

She reported me to SRS stating that I was neglecting the children. When SRS and the Health Department came to investigate this report SRS determined that I could not hear the children outside and since I have a small fish pond in my front yard surrounded by flowers that this posed a threat to the well being of the children so therefore the report was a substantiated finding. This small fish pond had been in the same spot for 10 years and had never been a problem with my state inspections prior to this day. Since I watched children from another county that countys SRS department also came to investigate. They found the complaint UNsubstatiated. I appealed the findings of the Douglas County SRS. Then suddenly the State could not find my renewal license, but did not notify me of this until November. I did send in another renewal plus the fees(which they cashed the check). During my appeal process I did actually miss a pre-hearing confernce. I believe the wording of the letter that was sent to me was very confusing. I did call both DG Co SRS Atty and the hearing judge to admit that I did miss the hearing. The hearing judge denied me any other appeals. The following day the Health Department shows up at my door and says that my License had been revoked and that I was watching children without a license. I did stop watching children because I felt that no matter how well I did the state would always find something wrong with the care that I provided. All of my parents sent letters to the state along with others from my community stating how they were wrong but to no avail. Three of the families have since been at 2 different daycares and 1 family has had to have a parent quit their job because they could not find daycare. Because of the inexperience of the dg co srs i can not work with children for 2 years. Something needs to be done!

Bladerunner 10 years, 2 months ago

After reading the above posts ...I agree that at some point someone from SRS pissed in Tryme's Post Toasties....and.....Hawk perched probably needs to get laid!.. What does anything he said have to do with anything anytime?I had an ex make several false accusations against me (presumably to make herself look better at our divorce trial). They were investigated by SRS and found to be false. I think they do a great job! Evidently the claims agains Tryme must have had some merit?

misseve 10 years, 2 months ago

I can say that its is not ENTIRELY SRS but the case managers that are the problem. As a mom and a step mom, i have had the displeasure of dealing with them because of bio-parents and neighbors with grudges. I have to say that we were cleared but I had seen parents AND daycares get convicted before they were tried, as well as seeing parents vindicated when all the evidence pointed to guilt. If the case worker isn't overwhelmed then its possible all will be well. Unfortunately the case workers in this county are doing the caseloads of 2 or 3 people because the turnover is so high. To add to my comment about Hawk,,, i hope he or she has no children....

aginglady 10 years, 2 months ago

Someone I met used to work in that dept of the local SRS work over three years. She quit, because of their regular "saving-face" policy. Meaning, if they accused someone of abuse, but it wasn't true, they would drum up some other side issue that would make them look like they were doing a good job.For the records/stats.

Like, a parent accused of child abuse when the child hides the injury, and tells a lie about what happened when it's discovered because they knew they would get in trouble if the parents knew what they had been not being safe, breaking rules. So they lie to cover their little behinds. Then, when the child admits to someone who they realize they can't lie their doctor who's asking them what happened, they then tell the truth, like I was walking along the stair railing and fell, jumping on the bed, climbing the tree, etc. But then, SRS, to keep from looking like idiots will dismiss the abuse charge, but tag on a "medical neglect" bogus charge..adding, this won't be available for public record since this is a first offense, but they will notify ex's, who've been out of the picture the child's whole life, but thus giving them another reason to harrass the caregiving parent. And so on.

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