Journal Entry
03/25/2012 - Foster Care and Sexual Abuse
Don't read this if you just ate.
Have you ever wondered about the rate of sexual abuse experienced by foster care survivors?
As many as 75 percent of all children in foster care, upon leaving the system, will have experienced sexual abuse.
Օ One study by Johns Hopkins University found that the rate of sexual abuse within the foster-care system is more than four times as high as in the general population
In group homes, the rate of sexual abuse is more than 28 times that of the general population.
Օ Foster children who suffer sexual abuse tend to be those who live with those caregivers who have the least verbal contact with child-welfare workers.
Also, for whole 7 page article
Keeping Kids Safe in Care
Q: Is the quantity, quality, or type of services provided associated with achieving or not achieving safety in out-of-home care?
Type of Placement
(e.g. family foster homekinship and non-relative, group home, residential treatment center, other institution)
High level of evidence In a study of 292 maltreatment cases in Illinois, sexual abuse was the most prevalent form of maltreatment reported for all types of placements: Sexual abuse comprised 74% of reports in
family foster care; 76% of relative foster care cases; 62% of specialized foster care cases; and 89% of institutional cases. In this same study, birth parents were the most frequent perpetrators of sexual abuse (45% of cases) followed by unrelated parent substitutes (20%). In a study of 290 incidents of abuse and neglect in Colorado family foster homes, group homes,residential treatment centers, and other institutions, 29% of confirmed incidents took place in family foster homes. Medium level of evidence In a study of children in foster care in Illinois, lack of supervision and sexual abuse were the most frequent types of abuse and neglect in family foster care (20% of cases). In the same study, sexual abuse rates were higher in family foster care cases (36.9% of cases) and specialized foster care (45.2%) than other types of care. Neglect accounted for less than 10% of cases in both family and specialized foster care. In the Illinois study, the perpetrator of abuse was most likely to be the foster parent. Birth parents, however, were perpetrators in 26.5% of relative care placements, 26.4% of family foster homes, and 19.8% of specialized foster care placements.
Possible Steps to Take
Data Analysis. To the extent possible, find out when reported abuse in care happened. Because children often report abuse in care retrospectively, an accurate count of current maltreatment may be hard to get. This knowledge will help you to estimate, on average, the percentage of maltreatment reports that are likely to have
occurred in the past. For example, in Illinois, the percentage of retrospective reports ranged from 32- 34%. Differentiating past maltreatment in care from current maltreatment in care will allow you to better target interventions and better track incidence of maltreatment in care. Monitor Visitation. In cases in which ongoing
abuse is reported or suspected, monitor child-birth parent visitation closely. This is especially important
in relative care placements, as relatives may experience a loyalty conflict and allow birth parents more contact with children than is warranted. Institutional Abuse. In institutional settings (residential treatment centers, temporary shelters, group homes, inpatient treatment centers) in which abuse is repeatedly experienced by children, alert state officials to patterns of abuse so an agency audit may take place. Internal Audit. Ensure that in internal audit or quality control system is in place in your agency so that repeat offenders of abuse or neglect in care may be quickly identified and removed from the provider pool. This includes family foster care,
kinship care, group home, RTC, and other institutions. Training/Education. Ensure that everyone involved in a case is getting adequate training around issues of maltreatment in care: ׷ Help foster parents deal with abuse reactive behaviors in the home, especially sexual acting out or provocative behaviors from sexually and physically abused kids. Train foster parents to recognize the signs of sibling abuse in foster careחparticularly
sexual abuse from siblings. Educate the kids themselves about overcoming the clinical and day-to-day
effects of abuse or neglectחand how to report ongoing abuse.