Babysitter Accused of Abusing 4-Month-Old in Charlottesville
Jessica Morgan Henderson
Charlottesville police arrested a babysitter earlier this week. Jessica Morgan Henderson, 25, of Charlottesville, is charged with abuse and neglect of a child.
Police say they started investigating what they are calling a child neglect case months ago. Monday, they made an arrest.
It all started on April 25 when Charlottesville police got a call from a mother saying she found bruises on her 4-month-old boy when she picked him up from the babysitter, Henderson.
Police say Henderson was babysitting the boy at her Charlottesville home. Police say the injuries to the child were non-life-threatening but they cannot release details about what happened.
"I really can't go into those I think that it would be inappropriate to discuss those injuries other than the fact that the child was treated at the University of Virginia Medical Center," said Lt. Ronnie Roberts of the Charlottesville Police Department.
Police do not believe Henderson worked for a child care company.
Blair Smith, a child care worker with Charlottesville's Department of Social Services, says parents should look for more than just physical signs if they think a babysitter is hurting their child.
"Severe mood, severe anxiety in their child, if they're unhappy with when it's time to go and visit the child care provider," said Smith.
Smith says naturally a child might be upset the first week or two of going to a new babysitter - but it shouldn't extend past that.
The Virginia Department of Social Services offers a breakdown of licensed, regulated unlicensed and approved child care providers across the commonwealth.
The website also separates the providers by home-based and center-based facilities.
Smith says the first time a parent checks out a child care provider they should go alone - without their child. She says pay close attention to your gut feeling; if a parent doesn't feel comfortable neither will a child.
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