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Toddler's Death Prompts Change In DHS Regulations

There are new developments Monday with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and the ways they regulate day cares. On Tuesday, the DHS Commission is set to vote for or against a new set of rules that would require day cares to post results of investigations where wrong-doing was confirmed. News on 6 anchor Jennifer Loren reports that to the family of a Tulsa boy, killed at his day care, the move would mean progress, but not success.

"I think there definitely has been progress,” said Atonda Minton.

Minton has been working tirelessly since her nephew, Joshua Minton's, death. She says Oklahoma's laws need a lot of work when it comes to protecting our children, as do the Department of Human Service's rules.

"The children should come first. That's just the bottom line,” Minton said.

In the wake of Minton's death, The Oklahoma DHS has reviewed several of their policies, and it’s ready to make at least one major change for day cares.

"They will be required to post in a prominent location, any confirmed child welfare allegations. Once that investigation has been completed, that information will be posted for 120 days,” said Mary Leaver of Oklahoma DHS.

The keyword there is "confirmed" allegations. What about "unconfirmed" allegations?

"Unconfirmed reports will not be posted in a prominent location. Those will be contained within the public compliance file,” Leaver said.

That's a file parents would have to track down and make an appointment to see. In Joshua Minton's case, his parents had no idea a file like that existed. If they had known, they would have found three years worth of those unconfirmed allegations against his day care provider, Vicki Chiles.

Atonda Minton fears if those allegations aren't posted as well, other families could become victims like hers.

"I think all findings and all investigations need to be posted,” said Minton.

She says the DHS and the state need to stop putting businesses like day cares first and put our children's safety at the top of their lists.

"Because this isn't the only issue that needs to be addressed, and I'm not stopping with just Joshua's case,” Minton said.

The Human Services Commission will vote Tuesday morning. If passed, the new rules would go to the governor's office for approval.

The woman accused of murdering Joshua Minton will be in court. Minton's day care provider, Vicki Chiles, will be arraigned in district court Tuesday. She faces first-degree murder charges in Minton's death and child abuse charges in a separate case, also involving a child in her care.

Last week, Chiles was bound over for trial. The judge will likely set her trial date in Tuesday’s proceedings.

Watch the video: DHS Considers Change In Rules After Toddler's Death

Related Stories:

5/17/2007 2-Year-Old Dies After Being Tied Up At Daycare, Says Police

5/18/2007 Selecting The Right Daycare For Your Children

5/18/2007 Daycare Worker Accused Of Killing Child Was Already Under Investigation

5/24/2007 Parents Of Child Who Died In Daycare Speak

5/29/2007 Court Hearing Date Set For Daycare Worker Charged With Murder

6/6/2007 Relatives Of Child Killed At Daycare Push For Change In Legislation

6/8/2007 New Allegations Against Daycare Owner Charged With Murder

6/12/2007 DHS Procedures Under Review Following Child’s Death

7/17/2007 Autopsy Results Released In Daycare Death
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