The actions of a local Medicaid transportation provider, Unity Transportation, are up for review by the Department of Human Services Division of Medical Services following an incident where a four-year-old female was left in a van for about seven hours.
According to a Conway Police Department report, the victim was picked up from her home in Conway on Wednesday between 7 and 7:30 a.m., and was not discovered in the parked van until 2 p.m.
The victim’s mother said that the child utilizes the Medicaid transportation service to attend school at Center of Early Learning on College Avenue.
The report stated that the child was discovered by employees of Unity Adult Day Care Center, 223 Locust Ave., where the van was parked.
Sandra Fuller, Unity Adult Day Care Center president, said that two employees, a van driver and a van attendant, were terminated after the child was found.
According to Fuller, the child was unharmed, though, "she needed to be changed and (employees) gave her water and applesauce."
Fuller said that the incident was "quickly" reported to the Department of Human Services.
Julie Munsell, DHS spokesperson, said that any investigations surrounding the incident "on the maltreatment or health and safety side" are confidential.
"We are reviewing the actions leading up to and following the incident on the service provider side. They report the incident to us, we do a review, and they tell us how they responded. In this case, they terminated employees. That was their corrective action plan."
Munsell said that the incident was also reported to the Department of Human Service’s child maltreatment hotline.
"That may launch an investigation of individuals in child maltreatment. That information is confidential."
According to Munsell, Unity Transportation reported the incident and took the initial steps that were required.
"If a person is founded for child maltreatment, their name will be found on a child abuse registry. While not criminal, this can affect the individual’s ability to work with children and can restrict them in a similar setting," Munsell said.
The Conway Police Department report stated that the victim was checked in as present at Center of Early Learning, though, she did not attend the school on Wednesday.
"The teacher at her school failed to realize she was not there," Fuller said. "I went to the van myself at 10 o’clock and I didn’t see the child. I opened the window to air out the van and the child didn’t make a sound."
(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)