The Department of Social Services (DSS) used a temporary suspension order to suspend the license of a licensed California family day care after a staff mistake caused a risk of harm to a child in care. The child was not harmed and returned to care after the incident. Families and members of the community continued to support the day care provider after the incident.
Despite wide-spread community support for the day care, the Department’s initial position was to seek revocation of the license. We requested a settlement conference with an administrative law judge at the Office of Administrative Hearings.
As a result of the settlement conference, we were able to reach an acceptable settlement with the DSS that would allow our client to continue to operate under probation and with a reduction in capacity.
There were four key factors in reaching a settlement:
1) The licensee operated a highly respected day care without incident for many years.
2) The licensee instituted new policies immediately after the incident to avoid future incidents.
3) Strong community and parental support.
4) The settlement conference process.