Pennsylvania Foster Care Sexual Abuse Lawyers
Foster care aims to protect children removed from their original homes due to abuse or neglect. Unfortunately, some foster homes use their position of power to sexually abuse children. If you or a loved one suffered foster care abuse, Cordisco & Saile LLC is here to help. We can hold foster homes in Pennsylvania responsible for the abuse and get you the compensation and justice you deserve.
When biological parents cannot provide adequate care for their children or are facing abuse allegations, the state places the children in foster care. It can be traumatizing for children forced to live apart from their parents in an unfamiliar setting. Foster care is a temporary living situation for children meant to protect them from harm. Unfortunately, some foster homes cannot provide protection, shelter, and love for children placed in their care. Some even sexually abuse children in their care.
Suffering sexual abuse can have devastating impacts on a victim’s life. If you or a loved one have suffered foster care sexual abuse, Cordisco & Saile LLC’s personal injury law firm is here to help. Our experienced Pennsylvania child sexual abuse lawyers can help you hold abusive foster homes responsible for their crimes.
- Types of Foster Care Abuse
- Laws in Pennsylvania for Foster Care Abuse
- Foster Care Abuse in Pennsylvania Statistics
- Can You Sue the Foster Care System?
- How can the Pennsylvania child sex abuse lawyers at Cordisco & Saile LLC help?
- Why Choose Cordisco & Saile LLC for Your Foster Care Sexual Abuse Lawsuit
Types of Foster Care Abuse
Foster care abuse includes various types of maltreatment:
- Sexual abuse: Examples of sexual abuse include rape, molestation, and exposing the child to sexual situations and materials.
- Physical abuse: This is any intentional act that causes physical injury or harm to a child, such as kicking, hitting, or slapping.
- Emotional abuse: This refers to behaviors that undermine a child’s self-esteem, emotional well-being, and psychological development. Examples include humiliation, constant criticism, and withholding love and affection.
- Neglect: This is when a foster home fails to provide the necessary support, care, and supervision to meet a child’s basic needs, such as clothing, food, shelter, education, and medical care.
Laws in Pennsylvania for Foster Care Abuse
Pennsylvania has several laws and regulations protecting children from foster care sexual, emotional, and physical abuse. These include:
- Child Protective Services Law (CPSL): The CPSL establishes the legal responsibilities and obligations of foster parents, child welfare agencies, and others working with children. It defines “child abuse” as non-accidental serious physical or mental injury to a child under 18, sexual exploitation or abuse to a child under 18, and serious neglect.
- Title 55 Pa. Code Chapter 3700 (Foster Family Care Agency): Pennsylvania has established regulations for foster care that outline standards for background checks, foster child discipline and control, and foster parent training.
- Act 33 and Act 34 clearances: These are required for people working with children, including foster parents, volunteers, and foster care agency staff. These clearances involve background checks, including child abuse history and Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprinting, to ensure the safety of foster children.
- ACT 126 – Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting Act: This act requires certain professionals, such as educators, health care providers, and childcare workers, to receive training on spotting and reporting child abuse. This ensures that professionals involved with foster care children can identify signs of abuse and take appropriate action.
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Foster Care Abuse in Pennsylvania Statistics
Although Pennsylvania has many laws for protecting foster children, statistics paint a concerning picture of the abuses children face in the foster care system. Adoption Connection, PA, reported the following in 2018:
- Reports of child neglect or abuse: 44,063
- Reports of child neglect or abuse substantiated by credible evidence: 11.6 percent
- Repeated substantiated child neglect or abuse incidents: 5.2 percent, or one out of 19
- Children reunified with biological parents or relatives within 12 months of removal: 38.7 percent
- Children removed a second time from biological parents within 12 months of reunification: 22.3 percent
Can You Sue the Foster Care System?
Yes, you can sue the public foster care system. In Pennsylvania, both private organizations and government agencies recruit foster parents to serve as foster parents for children. Your ability to sue depends on the type of organization involved.
You can sue private organizations for negligence, alleging they breached their duty of care by failing to prevent the abuse and placing the child in a harmful situation.
However, in cases involving state and local government agencies, you must show that the foster care system violated your civil rights. Children victimized by sexual abuse in foster care can sue government agencies under 42 U.S. Code § 1983 for violating their constitutional civil rights. Under Section 1983, any government agency that deprives individuals of their constitutional rights can be liable for damages.
How can the Pennsylvania child sex abuse lawyers at Cordisco & Saile LLC help?
Cordisco & Saile LLC’s experienced Pennsylvania child sex abuse lawyers can help foster care abuse victims seek justice and hold those responsible accountable. Our award-winning team understands the extent of trauma inflicted by abusive foster homes and is committed to providing compassionate support and aggressive representation.
Here’s how Cordisco & Saile LLC’s Pennsylvania foster care abuse lawyers can help victims:
- Answer all legal questions and concerns: Our legal team understands that foster care abuse cases can be overwhelming and confusing. To help you understand your case, we will listen to your concerns with sensitivity and provide clear and comprehensive answers to your questions. We will also walk you through the legal process to ensure you understand your rights and options.
- Investigate each case to gather relevant evidence: If you are eligible to file a foster care sexual abuse lawsuit, the legal team at Cordisco & Saile LLC will build a strong case by carefully examining the details of your case and gathering and analyzing all available evidence, including witness statements, foster care records, medical records, and other documentation for establishing facts and determining liability.
- Consult with experts to build a strong legal strategy: In complex foster care sexual abuse cases, consulting third-party experts such as social workers, psychologists, and medical professionals may be necessary. They can provide expert testimony to support your case and demonstrate the extent of the harm you suffered.
- Seek maximum compensation for the sexual, physical, emotional, and psychological harm suffered: Foster care abuse can cause severe and long-lasting harm to victims. For example, you may develop lifelong post-traumatic stress disorder making full-time employment difficult. Cordico & Saile LLC’s skilled attorneys can determine the maximum compensation you’re entitled to receive by meticulously assessing the impact of the abuse on your life, such as therapy costs, lost educational and employment opportunities, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.
- Fight for your rights at trial: If we can’t reach a reasonable settlement with the responsible party or parties, we can fight for your rights at trial. We will use our extensive trial experience to secure the compensation and justice you deserve.
Why Choose Cordisco & Saile LLC for Your Foster Care Sexual Abuse Lawsuit
Pennsylvania’s foster care system is meant to give children and youth a safe family setting during trying times. Unfortunately, foster care child abuse is not uncommon.
If you or a family member have suffered sexual abuse during foster care, Cordisco & Saile LLC’s compassionate and knowledgeable Pennsylvania foster care abuse attorneys are here to help. We will thoroughly investigate your case and inform you about your options.
If there is enough evidence to prove abuse, we will pursue your rights in civil courts to hold the perpetrators and their enablers legally accountable. We have extensive experience in getting our satisfied clients fair compensation and justice for their injuries.
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