Fort Bragg families questioning housing policy largely aimed at babysitters

Cumberland County News

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – Some Fort Bragg families are questioning an on-post housing policy that requires homes to be regulated if children who aren’t family members are going to be watched there for more than 10 hours a week.

This includes paid and unpaid babysitting, so even things like sleepovers could fall under this policy.

During a Wednesday town hall hosted by Fort Bragg officials, one woman asked, “Who made this policy and how do we give input to change it?”

Fort Bragg Child Administrator Christy Morrisey said the policy isn’t new, but they’re required to remind families about it after a child died while being cared for in an unauthorized home in Hawaii.

“We’re looking for the safety and well being of children who are being watched by people who are not certified providers,’ Morrisey said.

Morrisey said there are currently seven certified homes at Fort Bragg.

For a home to become certified, people have to have a background check, as well as several inspections aimed at making sure the home is safe for young children.

She said it’s easy to do but can be a lengthy process.

“We do observations, we have our inspections, and we look for those things that people may not look for on a regular basis,” Morrisey said. “Our whole goal is to put them in an environment that is regulated, that’s going to be monitored, and that’s going to be safe for their children.”

If this policy isn’t followed, Morrisey said, “The ultimate thing that could happen is they could lose their housing.”

She says that’s never happened before, and they’re taking a common-sense approach to enforcing this.

“All we do is go out, we make them aware of the policy, and it usually does stop after that.”

Fort Bragg officials are taking the feedback they get from parents and sending it up the chain of command.

“So that we can tell what’s working and what’s not working,” Morrisey said. “What we are going to do is take what we heard today, take it to our higher headquarters, and then they’re the ones who will take everything, look at the bigger picture, and then see what we need to revise and what we don’t need to revise.”

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