Each year, thousands of children end up in foster care, often due to neglect or abuse in their biological homes. The sad reality is that some of these children are subjected to further abuse at the hands of those who have promised to protect them and provide them with a safe shelter. From substance abuse to mental illness to unsafe living conditions, foster homes can sometimes provide unsafe environments for the children who need safety the most.
If you suspect foster care abuse, it’s important to contact an experienced foster care abuse attorney immediately. The Law Offices of Andrew Ritholz has over 30 years experience protecting the rights of foster care abuse and neglect victims.
Foster Care Abuse Statistics
Abuse in the foster care system is a reality that no one likes to talk about. In fact, reliable data on foster care abuse is notoriously hard to come by. While anecdotes of horrible maltreatment of children by foster parents abound, these don’t paint a clear picture of how prevalent abuse is in the foster care system.
The precious few studies that do exist typically examine the problem on a state-by-state basis. One of the more comprehensive reviews of foster care abuse, conducted by a watchdog group in 2004, cited findings that 28% of children in the Maryland foster care system had suffered abuse. Similar rates were cited for other states, with a 21% abuse rate in foster care homes in Louisiana, and a 25% rate in Missouri. Multiple organizations that have studied systemwide foster care abuses have concluded that children in state care are 10 times more likely to be abused than children in the care of their biological parents.
Due to lack of data and the fact that many cases go unreported, it’s impossible to know exactly how many children are suffering abuse in the California foster care system. In 2014, there were 496,972 reports of neglect and child abuse in the State of California. Of these, 16% (or 79,179) were substantiated by the child welfare system. Many of these children end up in the foster care system, where they may become victims of further abuse or neglect.
Here’s what we do know about the California foster care system:
- There are currently about 55,000 children in foster care in California;
- Nearly 100 children are placed in California foster care every day;
- At least 38% of California foster care children experience 5 or more placements;
- 73% of California foster care children are in the foster care system for 2 or more years.
While the limited data available about foster care abuse is shocking, inside stories suggest that the problem may be much worse than what is actually reported. Even though child welfare services has systems and requirements in place for monitoring foster care and visiting foster homes, these safeguards don’t always happen or fail to detect abuse when it is occurring. Every day, foster care children continue to be subjected to unacceptable emotional, physical, and sexual abuse.
How An Experienced Foster Care Abuse Attorney Can Help
Recognizing the signs of child abuse is not always easy. It’s also important to remember that abuse is never the victim’s fault. If you have suspicions that a child is being abused in the foster care system, the time to speak up is now. The most crucial thing is getting a child out of an abusive situation.
As experienced foster care abuse attorneys, we are familiar with many of the unnecessary scenarios in which child abuse can occur. We will work diligently to investigate all aspects of the incident, including police and medical reports, and we will hire experts to help evaluate your case and get the maximum compensation for a child’s injuries.
At the Law Offices of Andrew Ritholz, we provide compassionate legal representation in all stages of foster care abuse cases. Contact us today for a FREE consultation with a Pasadena foster care abuse attorney by completing the form at the right or calling (877) 261-9322.