Statistics of the abuse, neglect and molestation of children in foster care

There are more than half a million children and youth in the U.S. foster care system today. Studies reveal that children are 11 times more likely to be abused in state care than they are in their ...own homes, and 7 times more likely to die as a result of abuse in the foster care system."-- John Walsh Show April 16, 2003

"As many as 75 percent of all children in foster care, upon leaving the system, will have experienced sexual abuse. One study by Johns Hopkins University found that the rate of sexual abuse within the foster-care system is more than four times as high as in the general population; in group homes, the rate of sexual abuse is more than 28 times that of the general population." -- Sexual Abuse: An Epidemic in Foster Care Settings? By Orlow, Orlow & Orlow July 17, 2009.
ALSO CASE LAW- Because of the magnitude of the liberty interests of parents and adult extended family members in the care and companionship of children, the Fourteenth Amendment protects these substantive due process liberty interests by prohibiting the government from depriving fit parents of custody of their children. See Stanley v. Illinois, 405 U.S. 645, 651, 92 S.Ct. 1208, 31 L.Ed.2d 551 (1972); Santosky v. Kramer, 455 U.S. 745, 760, 102 S.Ct. 1388, 71 L.Ed.2d 599 (1982); Duchesne v. Sugarman, 566 F.2d 817, 824 (2d Cir. 1977); Hurlman v. Rice, 927 F.2d 74, 79 (2d Cir. 1991). In the United States Supreme Court’s view, the state registers "no gains toward its stated goals [of protecting children] when it separates a fit parent from the custody of his children." Stanley, 405 U.S. at 652.

Grandparents are also entitled to procedural due process. “An essential principle of due process is that a deprivation of life, liberty, or property ‘be preceded by notice and opportunity for hearing appropriate to the nature of the case.’” Cleveland Bd. of Educ. v. Loudermill, 470 U.S. 532, 542, 105 S.Ct. 1487, 84 L.Ed.2d 494 (1985) (quoting Mullane v. Central Hanover Bank & Trust Co., 339 U.S. 306, 70 S.Ct. 652, 94 L.Ed.2d 865 (1950)).

The grandchildren have a Fourth Amendment right not to be seized by the government for child protective purposes unless it has probable cause to believe that the children have been neglected. Tenenbaum v. Williams, 193 F.3d 581 (2d Cir. 1999), cert. denied, 529 U.S. 1098, 120 S.Ct. 1832, 146 L.Ed.2d 776 (2000). Probable cause exists only if the officials have persuasive evidence of serious ongoing abuse and reason to fear imminent recurrence. Robison v. Via, 821 F.2d 913, 922 (2d Cir. 1987).

Grandparents cannot be dismissed from the dependency case because the dependency case is the only legal way that the state can interfere with their custody. The state must prove that they are abusive or neglectful and that the children would be at risk of immediate serious harm if returned.

Hemming's way

The Lib Dem MP John Hemming seems to be waging war against social workers and government adoption policy. Is his campaign misleading? 

Editor's note: We have now been informed by Ms Penny Mellor that she did not, in 2005, take up the position of family advocacy co-ordinator for the organisation Justice For Families set up by John Hemming MP. We are happy to clarify this point.

Spare a thought for Christine Hemming, wife of the Birmingham MP John Hemming and mother to four of his five children. Last Thursday, as Hemming continued his extraordinary one-man crusade against the nation's social workers (or, as he prefers to call them, "baby stealers"), she felt obliged to post a qualifying online footnote to a series of articles and comments provoked by her husband in Community Care.

Hemming, she noted, had said that he had "experienced 'lies from social workers in his private life'. I would like to make it clear," she said, "that this was in relation to child protection action relating to a local councillor and her child and not in any way to our family."

In an article published last month in the Mail on Sunday, Hemming had claimed that social workers were "literally snatching newborn babies and children from good, stable, loving homes" for no better reason than to rake in millions of pounds of money offered as an incentive for hitting government adoption targets.

Give us back our children

Desperate motherSix weeks ago, the Mail told how social workers tore a baby from her loving family to put her up for adoption. Since then, scores of parents have contacted us with horrifying stories of children stolen by the state. How dare the courts continue to gag them?

The harrowing film of a young mother with an IQ of 63 cuddling her much-loved toddler daughter for the last time before handing her over for adoption was always going to be controversial.

As the cameras roll, the 18-year-old mother cries pitifully.

Her bewildered child reaches out to hug her when the moment comes to say goodbye for ever.

This raw, emotional footage was to be the centrepiece of a new BBC series called Family Wanted, spearheading a national campaign to increase the numbers of children adopted in this country.

In a bid to find them new homes, children removed from their real parents have been paraded publicly during the TV series. It is, say critics, akin to a human auction.

The story of four children who recently died whilst in foster care

Here is the story of the four children, one my own, and the three others belonging to other parents that I have met in the last year since my son died.

Like the others in our sad little group, I do not like to talk about what happened to my beautiful son, Luke Borusiewicz. I will say one thing, when I look at the photos of our last visit together, I can see the love for me in his eyes, on his poor little scratched face. Two days later a scratch on his penis that needed him to be taken to the doctor it was so severe. They ignored pleas from myself and Lukes mother. These people answer to noone.

I have the parents of these deceased children's permission to discuss it though, and to cast it into the public light. None of us want our children to be forgotten, and we all want justice. I know it is inevitable that I will meet more parents whose children have died in foster care due to this departments blatant negligence. If you know of anyone, please send them to me, it is time that we all came together, and expose what has, is and will be happening....

News Inquest into death of Adelaide care home boy who died after eating dirt and stones

A CORONIAL inquest is being held into the death of an Adelaide boy, 9, who ate stones and dirt while at a care home.

Deputy State Coroner Anthony Schapel today began hearing evidence int the April 2011 death of Lawrence Betts.

Lawrence was living at a respite facility for children with special needs at the time of his death in April 2011 and was under the guardianship of the Minister for Families and Communities.

He was was born with an intellectual disability, a cleft palate and also suffered from pica - an eating disorder which caused him to eat non-food items that he found around him.

Today, Mr Schapel heard evidence that a post-mortem found stones, soil and a dehydrated rice in his body.

The post mortem found the cause of death was sigmoid volvulus - an intestinal obstruction.

2 children trapped in foster care, as adults still debate how sibling died 4 years later

Police found no crime was committed in the death of 4-year-old Geovannti, but DFCS and the medical examiner still have questions. Four years later the case is unresolved and the family is still torn apart.

Normally when we talk about our child welfare system, we are asking why the Division of Family and Children Services and the courts didn’t do more to protect an abused child. As a community, we ask why the child wasn’t taken out of the home -- and kept out of the home.

Toddler who drowned in a backyard pool while in foster care may have been DRUGGED the day before he died

    • Toddler who died in foster care might have been drugged, a court has heard
    • The court heard on Wednesday Braxton's foster parents pretended to be a couple when at the time, despite having been separated for two years.
    • The couple relied on the money they were given from the state to look after the three-year-old, because they were both unemployed, the court heard. 
    • The 22-month-old boy died just three weeks after being placed into foster care
    • He drowned in the unsafe backyard pool of his foster home in September 2014 
    • Inquest heard he might have been given antihistamine tablets by foster mother

The Statistics Are In... Even Suicide Rates are Higher in Out of Home Care

  1. Well under half (38.5%) of the children and young people who died were living in intact biological families at the time of their deaths.
  2. Just over one-quarter (26.2%) of the children and young people who died had been clients of the Department of Community Services at some stage during their lives.
  3. Of those, one-third had active Department of Community Services’ involvement at the time of their deaths.
  4. Thirty-two (48.5%) out of the 66 children and young people who died from risk-taking had been clients of the Department of Community Services.
  5. Of the 39 (20.9%) children and young people who had been seen by mental health professionals, 25 (64.1%) died by suicide.
  6. With regard to available human service agencies, the children and young people who accessed mental health and school counselling services were typically those who died by suicide.
  7. Three males were living in de facto relationships, one of them with his 39 year old partner (who had formerly been his school teacher). Two young people who were wards of the state were living in supported accommodation with youth workers. Two young people were in an institutional residence when they died. One had been living in the mental health ward of a hospital and was on weekend release when she died, and one young person had been detained in a Juvenile Justice facility and had absconded at the time of his death.

One out of four deaths of children from families with a child protection history

Child Protective Services | Sauk County Wisconsin Official WebsiteA report from the NSW Ombudsman criticises the state government for closing cases for children reported to be at risk of serious harm without a caseworker making face-to-face contact with the family.

The findings are in the Ombudsman’s 2018-2019 report, which found almost one in four of the 989 infants and children who died in NSW in the two-year period were from families with a child protection history.

A report has criticised the state government for closing cases for children reported at risk of serious harm without a caseworker making
contact with the family.

Left hungry and too cold to go to school: Urgent review of children in care

The state government has ordered an immediate review of out-of-home care services for children in NSW following claims that two boys were left hungry and too cold to go to school this year while their care provider sought thousands of dollars a day to look after them.

In a devastating assessment of the sector, a children’s court magistrate has detailed the “unconscionable” treatment, “appalling neglect,” and “failure” in care by providers, including Lifestyle Solutions and the NSW Department of Communities and Justice.

Two young boys, dubbed Finn and Lincoln Hughes, were left too cold and hungry to go to school, a court has heard.Two young boys, dubbed Finn and Lincoln Hughes, were left too cold and hungry to go to school, a court has heard.Credit: Fairfax Media

In granting an application for a clinical report into the wellbeing of the boys, dubbed Finn and Lincoln Hughes by the court, magistrate Tracy Sheedy put on record details of the plight of the children, including:

  • how they complained to their school principal of hunger pains and to their lawyer about not having enough food;
  • how they were too cold to go to school because they did not have a winter uniform;
  • how their care provider quoted $77,000 per month to care for them;
  • and how their psychological welfare was suffering after experiencing a police raid, separation from siblings, and abuse in care since coming to the attention of authorities.

Magistrate Carney wreaking havoc on innocent families in Sydney’s South-West.

Petition · Stop Alberta child welfare from policing itself · Change.orgSix weeks after DoCS took baby "Doc" into "care," they're still breaking every law possible and getting away with it.

Magistrate Carney seems only too happy to adjourn these newborns lives another three months and into the new year to allow DoCS to entertain the court some more with their shenanigans.

Magistrate Carney may have transpired from the Roads and Traffic Committee, but one would think that before she is allowed to make decisions regarding the lives of children, particularly newborns, she must be knowledgeable of the time limits imposed in matters relating to children's courts.

Whether she knows or just doesn't care is irrelevant, because the damage being done to newborn children, whom she happily boasts about "taking three babies per week," is not only unforgiveable but also unlawful.

Two weeks is the maximum that courts may be adjourned for when it comes to proceedings of children (newborns), and this is to ensure that the best interest of the child is looked after—and not the solicitors whose businesses thrive off adjournments, mentions, and evidentiary hearings.

Magistrate Carney isn't the only magistrate allowing blatant breaches of the law to continue in the worst interest of children. Many magistrates do this as it helps the department build its case and ultimately allows them more time to continue to put more rubbish in their affidavits, which most of the time confuses the judge enough to believe that what they are claiming is credible and to make it impossible for the parents to contest each and every lie they put through.

NSW child-protection workers 'regularly' mislead court and needlessly take Indigenous kids: report

A damning review of Facs’ approach to Aboriginal families finds urgent reform is needed. 

Silhouette of little girl holding adult's hand at sunset

New South Wales child protection workers regularly give “misleading” evidence to the children’s court, often take the most traumatic option by removing Aboriginal children – including newborns – from their families, and operate in a “closed system” that needs urgent reform to make it more transparent and child-friendly, according to a new report.