Children's Home Trouble - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Stoddard County

Children's Home Trouble

Children's Home Trouble
By: CJ Cassidy

Stoddard County, MO -A Southeast Missouri woman accuses authorities of failing to protect her daughter as they held the teenager in protective custody.

Sharon MacDonald admits she's made some major mistakes as a parent.

The Stoddard County woman spent three weeks in jail last summer, after getting busted on drug charges.

When that happened, authorities placed MacDonald's 13-year-old daughter in the Stoddard County Children's Home, and it's what happened there that has MacDonald crying foul.

The supervisor of the children's home woke up in the middle of the night, to find the 13-year old having sex with her 15- year old son.

She immediately called authorities who began investigating.

The Director of the Stoddard County home tells me after more than 25 years and helping thousands of abused and neglected children, this is the first time an incident like this has ever happened.

"I want to know why she was allowed to bring her kids to work with her to start with."

That's one of many questions Sharon MacDonald has, after her daughter's brief stay at the Stoddard County Children's Home.

"All they did was remove the boy that night, and tell him he couldn't come back. They didn't reprimand the mother in any way said she wasn't at fault," MacDonald says.

"I hold our house parent responsible for care of the children," Mike Davis, the home's project director, says.

Board members at the state-licensed home did take immediate action, banning the boy from the property permanently and thoroughly investigating the incident.

"There's no real restrictions that keep the biological children of foster parents separate than the foster care kids. The same applies at the Stoddard County Home. House parents want to lead as much of a normal life as we can," Davis explains.

In fact, documents MacDonald shared with us show the house parent was not "neglectful" in her duties because "the two teenagers planned the sexual encounter earlier in the day."

"I think she should have been fired at least suspended without pay while they did the investigation," she says.

But Davis, also a trained juvenile officer, stresses the supervisor did nothing wrong and no laws were broken.

"It's just an unfortunate incident," he says but adds the rules at the home will not change as far as house parents bringing children with them to work.

"We want to continue to promote that family atmosphere," he says.

The house parent's son has since been placed on probation because of the incident.

Meanwhile Sharon MacDonald is working on cleaning up her act, and going through a drug treatment program.

Her daughter is still currently in foster care.

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