Checking out a childcare provider goes beyond initial screening, officials say

HAMILTON, Ohio -- It could be a friend, a relative, a neighbor or a professional: Parents and guardians who need childcare turn all sorts of places.

Making sure those caregivers are trustworthy goes beyond an initial screening, officials say. 

In Butler County, a babysitter is suspected of abusing a 3-year-old girl in her care. Lindsay Partin, 35, is charged with felonious assault and child endangering. According to court records, Partin admitted to shaking the child, Hannah Wesche.

Hannah's father, Jason Wesche, said he's been told she is essentially brain dead and likely won't survive.

Hannah had visible bruises to her face and neck when first responders picked her up at Partin's home, according to Sheriff Richard Jones.

Megan Latham, Hannah's aunt, said Partin was a neighbor and someone the family had trusted to care for Wesche for several months.

According to Partin's attorney, she had no criminal history and is an active member of her church.

Sgt. Melissa Gerhardt, with the Butler County Sheriff's Office, believes many people are inherently good, kind and trusting; they want to think those watching their children are kind and caring, too.

That's why she said it's important for parents and guardians to ask questions all the time.

"If they tell you the child fell today and got a bruise, well how’d that happen? Have them explain to you how that fall occurred. See if it matches where the bruise is at on the child’s body," she said.

Then, Gerhardt said, the child should be asked those same questions, to see if it matches what the caregiver said.

Parents and guardians might hesitate to push the issue for fear of being accusatory, Gerhardt said. But it's necessary to push for answers even when it's uncomfortable.

"I think it’s important to understand that nobody is going to love your child the way you love your child," she said.

Hannah remains at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. Her father said doctors are waiting for medication to wear off so they can determine with better clarity whether she has any chance to survive her brain injuries. 

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