• Jan
    21
    Posted in:
    Posted by: Jarve Kaplan Granato Starr

    Who Is Held Liable If A Child Is Abused While In Foster Care?

    Child abuse is a tragedy under all circumstances, and children who are in foster care are particularly vulnerable. These children are often emotionally fragile after been removed from their families or shuttled from placement to placement. They are uncertain of who they can trust and have few places where they can turn to help. These and many more factors make them easy prey to predators who cause them harm or neglect them.

    When children in foster care are revealed to be the victims of child abuse or neglect, the initial response is to lay all of the blame at the feet of the actual perpetrator of the abuse, but investigations quickly turn to the original placement and the agencies responsible for ensuring that the children in foster homes are safe. All too often, it becomes apparent that these agencies have been negligent in their responsibilities, and when that is the case that opens those agencies up to the possibility of being held legally liable for the damages that the children have suffered.

    Unfortunately, pursuing legal action on behalf of these children is not as clear cut as is the case for other personal injury claims. Children who have been the victims of child abuse, neglect or abusive behavior can be stymied by immunity protections that are in place in state governments across the country, and this type of shield law may leave the children with nowhere to turn but the federal court. There is a specific law under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 that allows a skilled and experienced attorney to pursue a case against a local agency on their behalf, getting around these protections, but this law is only applicable in situations where the agency can be proved to have displayed deliberate indifference to the child’s situation or the harm that they might be vulnerable to.

    The most important thing that a victim of foster care child abuse or the adult looking out for their better interest can do is to seek guidance from an experienced child abuse attorney who is familiar with the various laws and strategies that will allow them to get the justice that they deserve. For information on how we can help, contact Jarve Kaplan Granato and Starr at our office to set up an appointment to speak with us. We are compassionate, aggressive attorneys who know what needs to be done to get justice for children who have been harmed in a foster care setting.

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