Foster Care Company Under Fire After Abuse Allegations
A privately-owned non-profit foster care agency is under fire after a former foster parent was sentenced to 18-years for child abuse and other allegations. According to reports, they sent a brother and sister to the home. The brother was beaten so badly that he had to be hospitalized. Among the allegations, the New Mexico Department of Children and Family Services knew about the abuse and continued to send foster children for placement to the agency.
To make matters worse, the company covered up allegations of abuse against their placement family by stating that the injuries were caused by either self-harm or accidents.
To make matters even worse…
According to the lawsuit, New Mexico’s DCFS has “actual knowledge” that the boy was being savagely beaten. How did they come across this information? Well, most abusers are smart enough not to leave marks, but this one wasn’t. Teachers and others with contact with the child reported that they suspected he was being abused in his home. DCFS did not act on these reports and the child continued to be abused while the placement company altered his records and DCFS sat idly by.
Eventually, charges were filed against the foster mother and she was sentenced to 18 years. However, now that the dust has settled from the criminal prosecution, several failures in leadership and oversight allowed this situation to persist when it should have been stopped at the first sign of physical injury. Neither the foster care company nor DCFS intervened on this child’s behalf. Now, the company is being accused of breaching its duty of care to its foster children and will very likely be held liable for years of intentional negligence.
An investigation into DCFS and the foster care company detailed years of negligence including a failure to vet foster care parents or so much as conduct criminal background checks on them. Inspections of residences were never conducted, as required by law. Despite numerous infractions committed by the company, their license was renewed year after year.
What did the company know at the time?
Prior to the abuse incident with the boy, the company considered revoking the foster parent’s license for abuses that occurred under her care. Instead, they sent more children to the foster parent who was then found guilty of committing child abuse and will spend two decades behind bars. At some point, the company decided to forgo the process of getting rid of the foster parent and instead renewed her license.
So, let’s end this article on the worst allegation of them all. After sustaining systematic abuse at the hands of their parents and having teachers report the abuse to authorities, the children were forced to sign a contract to agree to stop hurting themselves and to seek help if they wanted to hurt themselves. The contract was signed by both children and the woman in prison for 18 years. They agreed to stop pinching and scratching themselves. Meanwhile, the boy was treated for a skull fracture.
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