What is Foster Care Agency Negligence?

Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Nancy J. Winkler with Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C..

What is Foster Care Agency Negligence?
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Foster care plays an essential role in protecting and providing for the safety and welfare of children who have lost their legal guardians or been removed from an unsafe situation. These children have often already undergone remarkable trauma, and deserve to be cared for in a secure, compassionate environment while they await placement in an equally if not more secure home.

When negligence occurs in a foster care agency, the consequences can cause life-long damage to everyone involved.

Foster care agencies have a legal obligation and responsibility to the children in their care to properly vet parent applicants, and to provide adequately for all of the child’s needs while in the care of the foster system. Foster care agencies also have a legal obligation to ensure that foster parents and families will be relatively safe with the child placed in their care. This includes making sure that potentially dangerous children are only moved to homes with families who are equipped to handle the child’s specific needs and challenges.

Here are some important duties a foster care agency is required to perform:

  • Screening prospective parents: In addition to the basic certification that all foster parents must obtain, a foster care agency is responsible for screening prospective parents to make sure they are financially and mentally stable before putting a child who will generally require a higher level of care into that household. This screening process should include background checks, interviews, and multiple home visits.
  • Screening other family members: In addition to the parents themselves, any close family members or members of the household need to be vetted by the foster care agency as well to make sure they are safe to be around the child and conducive to creating a peaceful home environment.
  • Conducting routine checks: Foster care agencies have a continuing responsibility after a child is placed to continue to perform routine checks during that child’s placement in a home. This is important to identifying warning signs which could indicate an unsafe environment.
  • Investigating complaints: It is imperative that a foster care agency immediately and thoroughly investigates any complaint of abuse or neglect in a foster home, especially if the complaint is made by a child.
    Removing children from dangerous environments: It is essential for a foster care agency to take immediate action when a home has been identified as unsafe or abusive. The agency is required to immediately remove the child from that environment before more harm can occur.

If you or your child were harmed by negligent placement from a foster care agency, you may be eligible to file a claim.

If you, your family, or your child were harmed as a result of a violation of one of the duties above, including negligent placement on the part of the foster care agency, you can file a claim against the foster care agency and potentially receive compensation for the trauma you experienced. Additionally, filing a claim against a negligent foster care agency can hold that agency accountable to conduct better practices in the future, and protect countless more children and families from suffering from the same negligence.

Written by AskTheLawyers.com on behalf of Nancy Winkler with Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C.

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