One of the most difficult aspects of being an Early Childhood Educator, whether it is in a Private Home or a Program Based Center, is the tremendous amount of responsibility that comes with the territory of taking good care of other people’s children.
So frequently we hear, that we have the “most fun job in the world” or that we “make it look easy”, what most people do not understand is how stressful it is to utilize Best Practices on a constant and continual basis, and how easy it is to be falsely accused for even the slightest infraction.
In a Program Based Center, there is a system of documentation and checks and balances, that can guide you in the case of wrongful accusation, but in a Private Home, these allowances are rare. Unfortunately for any caregiver, being falsely accused is incredibly stressful, and can cause feelings of anger and scorn.
When caring for children, proceed with caution, do not fool yourself into thinking that you are well trained and experienced, and therefore an incorrect perception could never occur because it can and it might. It is always a great idea to be prepared, should such an action occur.
First of all, know your rights; get some legal counsel, if for no other reason, to ensure your safety and your reputation. Secondly, find out what you are being accused of, is there a medical report with documentation? Or is it simply a young child stating that they are scared of you, with an unspecified cause? Third, do not get angry, this will set you up for failure, if it truly is a false accusation, keep in mind that you did nothing wrong and you do not need to apologize or act guilty; smile, be polite, and stand strong!
If necessary, contact your local Department of Children and Family Services, and let them know you are being accused, and how distressed this accusation is making you feel. Never talk too much so that you sound guilty (especially if you are not), but just enough to state your case.
Most importantly, do not engage with the accuser, this could be misconstrued as a bribe or threat, let your; Attorney, Administrator, or Employer handle this situation, they are well-trained to diffuse any accusations that are contrary to fact or truth, and most likely will be able to sooth the accuser much better than the person who is being accused.
Regardless of how stressed you feel, it is counter-productive to do anything that may cause harm to yourself, and keep in mind, that this situation will pass and there is no need for you to self-victimize, or create a long term harmful situation for yourself.
For more information on how to handle wrongful accusations, check-out these web-sites: