Each and every year, hundreds of thousands of children and adolescents across the United States are enrolled in private and publicly-funded foster homes, safe houses, and orphanages (including “boys homes” and “girls homes”). These children are often removed by a government agency and placed in a new home that is meant to provide safety, healing, and recovery.
Foster programs and orphanages sometimes provide safe havens for emotionally distressed children removed from dangerous environments. Unfortunately, too often these children are subjected to further trauma, neglect, and abuse by the very foster parents, surrogate care providers, and agencies responsible for facilitating a loving and safe environment.
Under-staffing, under-funding, lack of training, and a lack proper oversight often mean state workers cannot provide the level of support and supervision necessary to keep children in these settings safe and ensure their continued care. Social workers and agency personnel sometimes fail to properly screen foster parents; conduct complete background checks on employees who work at youth care facilities; investigate volunteers in the programs; or follow up and supervise the children once placed with new foster families, orphanages, or other child care homes.
Sexual predators take advantage of these opportunities to groom and abuse vulnerable children placed in foster care and orphanages. Many times, these children have no one to turn to for help. Without any family, trusted adults, or advocates to speak on their behalf, these children are forced to endure neglect or sexual, physical, or emotional abuse in silence for months or even years. Victims are coerced into remaining in a dangerous situation – fearing further abuse or other repercussions if they report the abuse.
Sometimes, victims are simply more afraid of the unknown abuse or neglect they might face in the next foster home or orphanage if they report. The sad truth is that many of these children who are most vulnerable and most in need of security and safety suffer abuse and harm at the hands of those entrusted with their care.
When foster parents, orphanage employees, or state agencies fail to protect the children in their care or choose to ignore signs that children are being abused, they may be liable for the child’s resulting injuries and harm. At Crew Janci LLP, we are honored to have been a voice for so many children and adults who were sexually or physically abused in orphanages (like the Children’s Farm Home), foster care, or other safe houses for youth, whether private or public.
We are committed to assisting survivors confront their abusers, as well as the institutions that enabled the abuse. Please contact Crew Janci LLP today. Together we can make a change.