Sex Offenders Slipping Through the Cracks
Story by Terry Chick of KIMA
It's a frightening report: sex offenders who slipped through the cracks and were found working in daycare and child care facilities. Some sex offenders were around kids in foster families, and one was even found working at a school. Our news partner KIMA Action News learned five-offenders were working at either in-home daycares, preschools, or foster homes here in Yakima County.
But here's the real problem, we can only tell you the number of people found. We can't tell you where they were working. So, if your child goes to an in-home daycare or private preschool, we can't tell you if a sex offender was working there or not.
We know that isn't good enough, so we called the Washington State Auditor's Office to ask why you don't have the right to know where these people are. Terry Chick asked Communications Director, Mindy Chambers, "Can you give us a breakdown of where these daycares are? Can you get specific on that?"
Chambers replied, "No."
Chick asked, "And why is that?"
Chambers replied, "Because we have to protect, we are legally bound to protect, the identities of the clients. In this case, the clients are the children and we have been told by DSHS that this is not releasable information under state law that pertains to DSHS." Chick concluded, "Then where does that leave the parents of the children who are going to these facilities? I mean, shouldn't they have a right to know that their children are in danger possibly?"
Chambers said, "All I can tell you is that we have to follow the law." You can rest assured the sex offenders have been removed from their positions.
But if the state can't release this information, it would probably be good to do some investigating yourself, comparing the address of the spot you take your kids, to the addresses listed for sex offenders.
You can find a link to offender watch on the newslinks section of this site. We also posted a link to the report from the Auditor's Office that looked into the records of these offenders.