Child Abuse within the Foster Care System
Professor Misty Thompson
Children placed in foster care are assigned to residential homes. These homes are not always a safe place. These children are at a high risk for neglect, physical and sexual abuse. Some tend to think that placing children in foster care is a safer environment. Foster care placement is one of the most tragic events a child can experience. They are usually placed in care because of their state rules to protect them. Foster care is supposed to provide children with an alternative to living in an unsafe environment. It should give children a second chance and an opportunity to be raised in a stable environment. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Children placed in foster care are not always placed in a safe environment. They are at risk for abuse by their caregivers.
Children in foster care may experience maltreatment, neglect and abuse either physically, mentally or sexually. Neglect is the withholding of or failure to provide adequate food, clothing or shelter. Neglect also includes abandonment, excessive spanking or hitting and the misuse of drugs or alcohol that the child could be harmed. Physical abuse is non- accidental injury inflicted upon a child by a parent or caregiver. Sexual abuse is the sexual exploitation of a child by a care giver. Sexual abuse may range from non-touching offenses, to fondling, intercourse and the use of a child in pornographic material. Maltreatment the constant abuse of verbally abusive language or putting down of a child.
Foster care has become an endangerment for children instead of a safe haven. Some tend to think that sexual abuse is equal amongst boys and girls. Statistics show more girls than boys are sexually abused, with the ratio of female to male 12:1(Gurian, 2002). Girls between the ages of 4-17 in foster care are vulnerable and a high risk group. A study was done on girls...