Frequently Asked Questions About Foster Care Abuse
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What are foster homes?
Foster care settings include not only traditional foster family homes, but also relative foster homes (whether payments are made or not), group homes, emergency shelters, residential facilities and pre-adoptive homes Foster Care homes are places for temporary placement of children outside their homes because of neglect and abuse. A child may be placed in a foster home to temporarily protect the child with the ultimate goal for a child to return home. Foster homes are obligated to secure, nurture, care and make the environment as home-like as possible. A new goal of adoption is sought in case a child is not able to safely come back home. However, sadly, many children get injured or even abused in foster homes. If you hear that a child is injured or abused while in foster care, after you report it to the appropriate child protective services agency (see the Resources section of this website for a link that will provide you contact information for child protective services), please contact The Keane Law Firm and we will do everything possible to help that child in a civil lawsuit.
How do I know if a foster child has been abused?
If you see that someone is hitting a child, if you see lacerations or bruises on a child’s body and they do not appear to have been caused by accident, if a child tells you he/she has been harmed by someone or if a child has suffered injuries which are inappropriate for his or her age (traumatic injuries when a child is too young to move on his or her own - meaning someone else must have inflicted them on the child), or is too young and was left alone – it is time for you to act. After you report the suspected abuse to the appropriate governmental agency (see the phone numbers in the Resource section of this website), we are here to help those children that need legal help and protection, and we need your input to our firm, so we can file the case and help that child. Please, call us as soon as you discover of child abuse. Call us 24 hours at 1-888 592-KIDS.
Can a foster child sue for injuries suffered while in foster care in California?
Yes. In California, there is a Foster Family Home and Small Family Home Insurance Fund which will pay for claims by foster children and their parents for injuries which arise in foster care. See Health & Saf.C. §1527.1 But the child will need you to make the first call - because they can't speak for themselves, and the foster care home is unlikely to act on behalf of the child for fear of getting into trouble with licensing authorities. Contact The Keane Law Firm now to assist the child in making a claim against the insurance fund. Kids in foster care have it tough enough, without being injured while in foser care. We owe it to them to protect their rights and help keep them safe. Please do your part and call us now, and then we'll do ours.
Do I need to be related to an abused or injured foster child in order to bring a claim on their behalf?
No, any interested party (relative of some degree - grandparent, aunt/uncle, cousin, brother, sister, family friend or some other responsible adult who has a connection to the child) may petition the court to be appointed the "guardian ad litem" for purposes of bringing a lawsuit or making a claim on the child's behalf. Conact The Keane Law Firm today, so we can discuss this with you. There is no charge to call or e-mail our firm to discuss the potential case. We would like to speak with you if you believe an injured or abused child needs legal representation.