According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, in 2011, at least 1,669 children were maltreated by a foster parent. This maltreatment includes neglect, physical abuse and sexual abuse. However, there were 41,798 cases where the relationship of the perpetrator to the victim was unknown. Furthermore, this only includes cases that were reported to the child’s local Child Protective Services Agency. As such, it is possible that this number is even higher than reported. Each county has a local child welfare agency that is in charge of placing children in foster care. Unfortunately, these agencies sometimes place children in a situation that is worse than the situation they are leaving behind. If the local child welfare agency knows that there are problems with a particular foster care placement, such as if one of the foster parents has previously been accused of sexual abuse of a child, and place a child there anyway, then the agency can be liable for negligently placing the child in that situation. Sometimes, the problem is not with the foster parents, but is rather with one of the foster children. If the agency knows that the foster child they are placing has a history of sexually abusing other children, and it places that child in a home that has children living there, including other foster children, then that agency can be held liable in the event that the newly placed child abuses one of the other children.
Andreozzi + Foote has represented victims of sexual abuse as a result of foster care placement. If you or someone you know has fallen victim to sexual abuse as a result of foster care placement and might need a lawyer, or simply needs legal guidance, do not hesitate to call our office. We do not charge for phone consultations, and even if we cannot be of assistance we will do everything we can to help point you in the right direction.