A child was mistakenly taken from her day care by a Department of Children and Family Services contract worker, who was supposed to pick up a different baby for a supervised visit.
Chanel Haney said her daughter was dropped off at a day care on Madison Avenue in Maywood last Wednesday morning. Hours later, she received a call from an employee at the day care with some unsettling news.
“’Your daughter has been in a mixup with DCFS’ – that’s all she said,” Haney said. “Then, she said, ‘Your daughter was taken off campus.’”
Haney said she rushed to the day care center, where she was told a contract worker for DCFS mistakenly took the wrong child for a supervised visit.
“She said a lady came looking for Caliyah – it was a mistake,” Haney said.
Caliyah, 1, was taken to the Maywood Public Library and was gone for more than an hour before the worker realized she had the wrong child, Haney said.
“The man who saw her said, ‘That’s not my daughter,’” Haney said.
The daycare, Proviso Leyden Council for Community Action, Inc., apologized for the mixup in a statement released Wednesday.
"While this was an unfortunate incident and we are deeply apologetic, PLCCA protocols have been reviewed and further steps have been implemented to ensure this kind of occurrence will never happen again,” the statement read. “The child in question was released to a DCFS agent and was in proper custodial care at all times."
Haney said she took her child to the hospital to be looked at following the incident.
“I should have been notified as soon as she came in looking for Caliyah,” Haney said. “I should have been notified on the spot.”
Haney said she’s still trying to figure out how such a mistake happened.
“She said Caliyah – she did not show any paperwork, no picture, did not give an age, last name,” Haney said. “The other girl is a 3-year-old. They’re not in the same class.”
DCFS said a citation was issued in connection with the incident.
“If the person picking up the child is not in the pickup list, further confirmation and authorization is to be verified and the pickup should be handled at the Center Director level,” DCFS said in a statement. “Since the incident, the Center is re-training all staff on the arrival and pick up protocol.”