Nancy Doe was a foster care parent who specialized in special needs children, including children with autism. While at a routine doctor’s visit with one of her autistic kids, she started slapping the child on the back—as she’d learned over the years was helpful in getting the child to breath better. A nurse unfamiliar with Nancy or her expertise anonymously reported the incident to child protection.
A child protection worker arrived at Nancy’s house and observed what she considered hazardous behavior on Nancy’s part. She recommended to licensing that Nancy’s license be revoked.
At the two-day hearing, Nancy credibly testified as to her means and methods and the success she has had caring for children with special needs. Through the use of subpoenas and testifying against their supervisor’s instruction, county licensing worker after county licensing worker testified that Nancy was “the best” foster parent they had ever worked with.
The Administrative Law Judge found Nancy had not physically abused the child in question or placed any other child in her care at risk. The judge found the maltreatment determination failed and likewise recommended the revocation be reversed. The Commissioner agreed.