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Ex-director of Hancock County child care ministry facing felony charges

(Photo provided/Hancock County Sherriff's Department )

CUMBERLAND Ind. (WISH) — A child care provider accused of giving melatonin to children without authorization to get them to nap is facing felony charges.

The Hancock County Prosecutor’s Office charged Tonya Rachelle Voris, 52, with 11 felony counts of neglects of a dependent and six counts of reckless supervision by a child care provider.

Voris was director of the Kidz Life Childcare Ministry, an unlicensed day care operating as a registered ministry of New Life Church. She was terminated on Jan. 30 after the church became aware of what was happening.

According to court documents obtained by News 8, Voris gave pediatric strength melatonin to 17 children from the middle of December through the end of January.

The parents of two children at Kidz Life gave verbal permission to Voris to give their children melatonin before nap time to aid them in sleeping. According to another employee at the facility, when Voris saw how effective the melatonin was on the two children, she began administrating it and directed staff to administer it to other children without permission from their parents.

The children who were administered melatonin without parental consent ranged from age 1-4. The different dosages ranged from one-third or one-half of a gummy to a whole one. The bottle from which Voris allegedly used the melatonin was marked for usage only in children 4 and older.

When parents were interviewed by police, they were upset at what had happened. Several parents noticed changes in their children during the timeframe that the melatonin was allegedly being administered. Some of these changes include difficulty focusing, trouble sleeping, erratic behavior, headaches, and skin rashes.