Over $200 Million In Verdicts & Settlements On Behalf Of Our Clients
Foster Care Abuse Lawyers in Baltimore
Representing Victims of Foster Care Abuse Throughout Maryland
There are thousands of children in Maryland’s foster care system. Foster care is supposed to protect children from the abuse or neglect that they experienced in their own homes and provide them with better. Tragically, in some cases, children are placed into an environment where they are subjected to sexual abuse and other unthinkable trauma.
At Schlachman, Belsky, Weiner & Davey, P.A., our Baltimore foster care abuse lawyers represent individuals who have been sexually abused, neglected, or otherwise harmed while in another person’s care. Whether the abuse occurred at a group facility in a private home, our legal team may be able to help.
No child deserves to live through this abuse, particularly in a place designed to protect them from abuse. Contact our office at (410) 685-2022 for a free, confidential consultation.
Foster Care Statistics
According to Advocates for Children and Youth, there are over 4,500 children in foster care in the state of Maryland. In Baltimore City alone, 1,929 children have been placed in the system.
As reported by the Administration for Children & Families:
- In the United States, there are over 400,000 children in foster care.
- Nearly half of the children in a foster care system are placed in a non-relative foster family home.
- 10% of children placed in foster care are in an institution or a group home.
- 30% of foster children stay in the system for a year to two years.
- 15% of children in foster care stay in the system for 24 to 35 months.
Abuse and Neglect in Foster Care Systems
Abuse and neglect in foster homes often go unreported or overlooked. Overloaded caseworkers and insufficient resources mean that children get left behind. It is difficult to determine exactly how widespread the problem is. Still, there is some evidence that sexual and physical abuse is exceptionally prevalent in foster care systems throughout the United States.
Focus on Health’s “Sex Abuse and the Foster Care System” looked at several studies, including one by Johns Hopkins University, which found that a group of Maryland children in foster care were four times more likely to be sexually abused than their peers. If you have experienced any form of abuse or neglect while in foster care or a group home setting, contact our office immediately.
Maryland Foster Care Requirements
Foster care systems in the state are overseen by the Maryland Department of Human Services but are operated by the individual counties. Baltimore City, however, has its own foster care program. Local Social Services Departments are responsible for “recruiting, training, licensing and retaining family resource homes.”
Maryland has minimal requirements for becoming a foster parent, including being at least 21, submitting to a background check, and completing 27 hours of pre-service education training. Homes are inspected by the health department and fire department, as well as two visits by an approval worker.
Inadequate oversight can lead to heartbreak for children but in homes with abusive or neglectful parents. Depending on the circumstances of the case, there may be one or more parties that can be held liable for your injuries.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for Foster Care Abuse?
If you suffer abuse or neglect in a foster home or group home, you may be entitled to compensation. Physical and sexual abuse can cause a lifetime of pain. Responsible parties must be held accountable.
Depending on the situation, in cases of foster care abuse, you may be able to file a lawsuit against:
- A government entity (Maryland Department of Human Services, Social Services Administration, Local DSS);
- A private foster care provider or placement company;
- The perpetrator of the abuse;
- The owner and operator of a group home where the abuse occurred; or
- A person or entity who knew about the abuse or neglect and failed to do something about it despite being a mandatory reporter.
Contact our office to speak directly with a Baltimore foster care abuse lawyer. We can help you understand your rights and provide you the resources you need to move forward.
Types of Foster Care Abuse
Foster care abuse can take many forms. Sadly, the abuse that occurs in foster homes and group settings is generally the same type of abuse that causes children to be removed from their biological homes.
Common types of foster care abuse include:
- Physical abuse and assault
- Sexual abuse
- Failure to provide adequate food, shelter, or clothing
- Unsafe living conditions
How Schlachman, Belsky, Weiner & Davey, P.A. Can Help
Our Baltimore foster care abuse lawyers can help you obtain financial compensation for your losses. No child should have to live through abuse and neglect. We provide compassionate, dedicated representation for victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse, and neglect experienced in Maryland foster homes or group settings.
Our lawyers have recovered millions in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Call our office today at (410) 685-2022 for a free consultation.