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Are child care programs required to release a child to a non-custodial parent or a parent that is intoxicated?

questionAre child care programs required to release a child to a non-custodial parent or a parent that is intoxicated? What is the procedure for handling such situations and how does this need to be written in the parent handbook?

answerIn your question you asked, “What is the procedure?” The answer to that question is for you to plan ahead for this situation and to have your own procedure. Parents cannot be denied access to their children, and although we can generally tell if someone is intoxicated, even law enforcement relies on specific sobriety tests before they charge someone with DUI. That having been said, common sense tells us we are placing children in danger if we release them to an intoxicated person. So, child care owners or directors should consult with a legal expert and develop a procedure for this situation, because it does and will happen. The Office of Child Care Licensing will offer consultation upon request regarding operating policies and procedures of child care facilities. After you seek legal counsel and formulate your plan, please contact Licensing and share the procedure with us.

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