These Kids Were Not Protected in Foster Care

Court Rules In Favor Of Children Sexually Abused In Foster Care

POSTED: Monday, February 2, 2009

NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. — A settlement has been reached in the case of three foster children suing the state after they were sexually abused in a local foster home.

The children’s attorney, Brian Cabrey, claimed that child welfare workers knowingly placed the youngsters in a home with other young people who had a history of sexual aggression.

Cabrey said the former Department of Children and Families employees violated his clients’ 14th Amendment right when they failed to prevent the children from being sexually abused while in foster care.

The courts agreed, saying the employees failed to protect the kids.

The federal case made it all the way to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. There, the court ruled in favor of the children, giving them the right to sue for the abuse they experienced.

“This should never have happened to these kids. You can’t pick your parents, and the state had a role to play in these kids’ lives and should have saved them and protected them,” Cabrey said.

According to court documents, the abuse took place between 1999 and 2000, and at the time, the three children were all under the age of eight and placed in the same foster home with two teenage boys who were known to be sexual predators. One of the teens had previously been sexually abused by an adult male caretaker.

Cabrey said while the foster parents went to work, the younger kids were sexually assaulted.

“They were beaten up. They were raped, repeatedly. No child deserves to be abused, period,” Cabrey said.

He said the former DCF workers knew the kids were at risk when they were placed in that particular foster home and that risk was ignored.

“The state should have done a better job placing these kids when the state knew who they were placing these kids with. They certainly should have taken steps to protect these kids or prevent what happened from happening,” Cabrey said.

Shortly after the ruling in Atlanta, the state settled for nearly $3 million.

Cabry said the case now sets precedence and gives other victims a chance.

“Hopefully, fairer treatment, better results and a better time getting the help they need,” Cabrey said.

In a statement from DCF, the department said:
“This was a very tragic case of harm to children in a foster home. We wish it had never happened. We are glad that all parties have agreed to a settlement that can take care of the children’s future needs, and we hope they will recover.”

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Text SizeCourt Rules In Favor Of Children Sexually Abused In Foster CarePOSTED: Monday, February 2, 2009

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I have SURVIVED the fostercare system and I have ALL of the emothional scars to prove it. I tried my whole life so far as a parent to keep my children from my fate. Unfortunately my biological mother had no problem letting Utah DCFS/CPS take my children because they were too much of a burden for anyone to care for. My children were taken because I got sick…. then kept from me because DCFS was taking information fed to them by a woman who was not concerned about the welfare of her grandchildren or mine. It took 8 long months to get my children back. The court appointed attorney did not work hard for me even though he told me what had happened was wrong. He told me to smile and do what I was told and I might get them back in 18mo. to 2 yrs. I fired him immediately and borrowed money to hire an attorney that would stand up for me.
    DCFS had placed one of my children in a foster/adopt house and assured the couple I was NEVER going to get her back so an adoption for them was in the near future….When I did get the children back the social worker that had been assigned to my case told everyone she was going on vacation and no one was to do anything on my case until she got back three weeks later. (The judge had said the children were to be given back immediately, mainly cause she was very pissed at the deception of DCFS. The children had been in my care for almost 3 mo. and the judge had not been informed of this.) The lead DCFS worker was notified by another foster parent about the courts decision and the issues with the original worker. I tried to get my youngest daughter from her foster parents, (the foster/adopt home) they refused to give her back. They were going to adopt my daughter and I was not going to stand in their way. Until they got the call telling them that if they refused I could call the sheriff’s dept. and have them arrested for kidnapping.
    This is just ONE of my many, many stories about the fostercare system. It takes more than a title to earn my trust and I feel that I have earned the right to be very weary when it comes to this gov. agency.
    My advice to others is to steer clear, question everything they do, and fight for your family if you think your children are in danger!! We are letting this agency take our power away and it is time we take some of it back!!!


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