Staff member accused of child abuse in New Britain, put on leave

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NEW BRITAIN -- A teacher who is accused of child abuse at Hospital for Special Care Early Learning Center, has been put on administrative leave.

On Monday, FOX61 reported on a story regarding the allegations towards a teacher after a mother said her three-year-old child was handled roughly by one of the staff members.

On Tuesday, Hospital for Special Care sent a letter home to parents stating that they have put the accused teacher on administrative leave pending the results of the  investigation.

"You may have seen or heard about a story that aired on FOX61 last night (Monday) and again briefly this morning. We are aware of an allegation of abuse which was reported by a parent in the center. We self-reported this allegation to the Department of Children Families "DCF" immediately upon hearing from the parent and have been fully cooperating with the investigation," said Hospital for Special Care.

"We are following our Abuse and Neglect Policy that is in alignment with the Office of Early Childhood. For precautionary measures we have placed the staff member involved on Administrative Leave pending the results of the investigation," the hospital said.

They first received a complaint on Wednesday July 12 and subsequently began looking into the case. The mother, who did not want to be identified, said her son came home with bruises on his arm about two weeks ago.

"He said she grabbed him by his wrist, and she squeezed very hard, and she shook, really hard and she caused him pain," the mother said. "He cried and that she said she didn't care."

Another mother spoke to FOX61 and said she doesn't just have problems with the specific teacher. She claims she has approached Hospital For Special Care staff several times for other issues she's faced involving her two children at the center.

"Their center is open because parents like me we're paying thousands of dollars," she said. "My concerns were never taken seriously."

The Hospital for Special Care VP of Human Resources released a statement to FOX61, Tuesday:

" On July 12, 2017, we followed proper protocol and self-reported an allegation by a parent to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) concerning a longstanding, Early Learning Center care giver. It is important to note that this care giver has worked at the center for more than 27 years without incident, and allegations such as this are taken very seriously and given the utmost priority and follow through. The Department of Public Health “DPH”, which licenses the Center, and DCF closed the case, but reopened it after a call from the child’s pediatrician, who was required to report to DCF based on the child’s parent’s statement to him. Both DPH and DCF revisited the center on July 21, 2017. A report is pending. I would like to take this opportunity to reinforce that we take matters of safety very seriously. The wellbeing of all of whom we care for is paramount to us. We are committed to keeping the children safe and healthy in an attractive and stimulating environment while providing a program that is individualized to meet each child's developmental level. We are proud of our program and record of accomplishment and value our solid reputation."