At Least 75% of Children in Foster Care will Be Sexually Abused in the System

“As many as 75 percent of all children in foster care, upon leaving the system, will have experienced sexual abuse.”
An approximate 0.73 percent of American children, over 530,000, live in foster care. Many of these children have been abused in some way. According to child welfare workers, 11 percent of all such cases of mistreatment involve sexual abuse.

Abuse in the System

As many as 75 percent of all children in foster care, upon leaving the system, will have experienced sexual abuse. 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. These statistics do not speak to the situation these children are coming from, but it does show the very large problem of child-on-child sexual abuse within the system.

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. It is believed that among the many reasons for this, a large factor is the lack of support those families receive from case workers.

Recognizing Abuse

There are cultural buffers which keep many from seeing the signs of abuse. For example, promiscuity in a young teen is a very important piece in the symptomology puzzle of sexually abused children. This warning sign commences a cycle of abuse, as a teen girl who dresses provocatively is then thought to be “asking for it.” Female children are more likely to have been sexually abused than male children; and the older a child is upon entering the foster care system, the greater the likelihood of sexual abuse occurring.

Other signs of past abuse:

• Bed wetting or other accidents that are not age appropriate

• Withholding stools

• Hyper vigilance and inability to sleep

• Overly reclusive or submissive

• Sexual aggression toward younger children, sexual activities with peers

If there is ongoing abuse in a child’s life, signs may include:

• Not receiving attention for physical problems that have been brought to a caregiver’s attention

• Coming to school and other activities early, and does not want to go home


Whatever your relationship is to a child you suspect is being, or has been abused, acting quickly is in the child’s best interest. Furthermore, it is the law. Enabling further abuse of a child through inaction can, in a growing number of jurisdictions, lead to a finding of culpability for damage stemming from continued abuse.

A sexually abused child in a foster care setting has been passed over by many people who could have helped them; children who are already vulnerable, who do not have adequate social services available to them, are less likely to succeed as functioning adults. Just by watching for the signs of abuse, children can be protected.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Orlow, Orlow & Orlow
Orlow, Orlow & Orlow, P.C. is a father and sons law firm that has represented the people of New York since 1981. Our firm consists of three partners – Steven Orlow and his sons Adam and Brian – and our full-time secretarial, paralegal, and clerical assistants. We also use the services of several part-time investigators and case experts. Our firm maintains a small firm environment in which we stress the importance of providing individualized service. We accept and vigorously pursue both large and small cases. Our intention is to serve clients and meet their needs after a traumatic incident by obtaining any and all compensation to which they may be entitled.

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While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

About yvonnemason

Background:  The eldest of five children, Yvonne was born May 17, 1951 in Atlanta, Georgia. Raised in East Point, Georgia, she moved to Jackson County, Ga. until 2006 then moved to Port St. Lucie, Florida where she currently makes her home.  Licensed bounty hunter for the state of Georgia. Education:  After a 34 year absence, returned to college in 2004. Graduated with honors in Criminal Justice with an Associate’s degree from Lanier Technical College in 2006. Awards:  Nominated for the prestigious GOAL award in 2005 which encompasses all of the technical colleges. This award is based not only on excellence in academics but also leadership, positive attitude and the willingness to excel in one’s major. Affiliations:  Beta Sigma Phi Sorority  Member of The Florida Writer’s Association – Group Leader for St Lucie County The Dream:  Since learning to write at the age of five, Yvonne has wanted to be an author. She wrote her first novel Stan’s Story beginning in 1974 and completed it in 2006. Publication seemed impossible as rejections grew to 10 years. Determined, she continued adding to the story until her dream came true in 2006. The Inspiration:  Yvonne’s brother Stan has been her inspiration and hero in every facet of her life. He was stricken with Encephalitis at the tender age of nine months. He has defied every roadblock placed in his way and has been the driving force in every one of her accomplishments. He is the one who taught her never to give up The Author: Yvonne is currently the author of several novels, including:  Stan’s Story- the true story of her brother’s accomplishments, it has been compared to the style of Capote, and is currently being rewritten with new information for re-release.  Tangled Minds - a riveting story about a young girl’s bad decision and how it taints everyone’s life around her yet still manages to show that hope is always possible. This novel has been compared to the writing of Steinbeck and is currently being written as a screenplay. This novel will be re-released by Kerlak Publishing in 2009  Brilliant Insanity – released by Kerlak Publishing October 2008  Silent Scream – Released by October 2008- Slated to be made into a movie Yvonne’s Philosophy in Life - “Pay it Forward”: “In this life we all have been helped by others to attain our dreams and goals. We cannot pay it back but what we can do is ‘pay it forward’. It is a simple
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5 Responses to At Least 75% of Children in Foster Care will Be Sexually Abused in the System

  1. Pingback: At Least 75% of Children in Foster Care will Be Sexually Abused in … Children Me

  2. cassandra says:

    i believe my daughter that got put into a foster home by DCF has been getting abused in some way, but because i dont have custody of her right at the moment i cant find aything ou, an i really cant ask her shes only a little over 2 years old what should i do.


  3. Pingback: At Least 75% of Children in Foster Care will Be Sexually Abused in the System | puremadangel's Blog

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