Foster Care Sexual Abuse Lawyers in Pennsylvania
Foster Care Sexual Abuse Lawyers in Pennsylvania are needed now more than ever. Overall foster care abuse made up 11.4% of all reported child abuse cases last year. It aims to protect the most vulnerable children in society. So, it is alarming when foster care places them in the path of further harm.
Children are targets for all types of abuse, from sexual abuse to neglect.
Victims Of Foster Care Abuse In Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania foster homes provide the type of child protection missing from the family home. Sadly, some have failed our children at various times.
Children placed in foster care are experiencing trauma. Protection from further trauma and abuse should be an essential requirement of our systems.
However, those tasked with providing shelter, protection, and love for such children have sometimes been unable to meet these basic needs. Worse, it has resulted in sexual abuse and further trauma.
Overworked caseworkers miss the signs of abuse, and so it may continue for years. Child victims, who felt too shameful to mention it at the time, have carried it through their lives, desperately trying to forget. Many have suffered in silence.
Fortunately, they no longer have to. Society looks at sexual abuse cases differently today and justice is more common than in the past.
Sexual Abuse In Pennsylvania “Short Stay” Foster Care
Short-term foster care is just as prone to abuse cases as long-term care – if not more.
There are many cases in Pennsylvania and other states where a child is shunted into foster care for a matter of weeks before social services assess the case and return the child to the parents.
These short-stay scenarios provide an opportunity for predators to get access to a steady flow of victims. The solution seems to be part of the problem: state officials (police officers, child-services workers, hospital staff, etc.) have the power to remove a child from the home without a court order if they believe the child is in imminent danger.
Frequently, they must make snap decisions in high-pressure situations, so poor judgment may mean that a child is unnecessarily moved from home to care.
While removals are well-intentioned, they can backfire. The resulting emotional trauma for the child and the parents may be exacerbated by placing the child into the care of a poorly vetted foster parent who has criminal intentions.
What Are The Most Common Types Of Foster Care Sexual Abuse In Pennsylvania?
It is almost unimaginable that a vulnerable child has to contend with abuse from the foster parent(s) working with youth organizations entrusted to care for them.
Typically, we see the following three types of abuse in foster care situations in Pennsylvania:
Striking, punching, burning with cigarettes, and worse all fall under this category.
Sexual Abuse & Assault
Sexual abuse by the foster parent or the children of the foster parents is disturbingly common. Such offenders often have a long history of abuse but have worked “under the radar” of social services. Therefore, they remain on the authorized list of foster homes.
In some cases, foster parents have provided care for many years for many children, with numerous complaints filed and no action taken.
Denial of basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter is neglect. Children experiencing neglect in thier homes leads to placement in foster care. So, to then suffer it in the foster home only compounds the trauma.
A Child In Foster Care In Pennsylvania Has Rights
Children in foster care in Pennsylvania have the same fundamental rights as children everywhere in the US: the right to live in a safe and secure environment, free of danger or harm.
Therefore, any complaint against a foster care provider should be investigated seriously.
Evidence to prove abuse allows prosecution of the offender. The civil justice system can also compensate the victim.
Whereas in the past, this rarely happened. Laws in Pennsylvania now make it easier for historical institutional sexual abuse cases to be prosecuted.
This can help victims put the traumatic events of the past.