One Lexington, KY, mother’s keen instincts could lead to an important child protection law in the state. Tiffany Fields’ 4-year-old son, Luke, requires constant care.
Luke has Down syndrome, heart defects and epilepsy. Through a caretaker organization, Fields found a nanny, Lillian D. White, for him. However, when Luke’s behavior became strange, Fields says she connected it to the new babysitter.
In October 2016, Fields set up a hidden nanny camera, and what she discovered was chilling. Authorities say the cameras showed the sitter dragging Luke across the floor, cursing at him, and sitting on his chest. Fields quickly reported White to the authorities, who charged the sitter with criminal abuse.
Fortunately, Luke was OK, and something amazing is coming from this family’s heartache. Kentucky Representative Dennis Keene was prompted by Fields’ story to pre-file a bill, Sophie’s Law, to create a registry to vet potential caretakers of children.
Keene said that there is already a model for such a registry in Indiana, and that the registry should be easy to roll out economically.
There are a few indicators that a nanny or sitter may not be looking out for a child’s well-being:
- If a nanny is secretive about her daily routine.
- If a child becomes nervous or anxious around the caretaker.
- If your child has one too many avoidable accidents.
- If your child looks unkempt and dirty.
- Your child is always hungry and tired.
Knowing these important warning signs can protect your child from abuse and neglect. It is recommended to always do a background check on caretakers and follow up with references.