The state of Missouri places approximately 6,819 children into foster care each year, which represents a rate of five per 1,000. As of November 2023, there are 12,476 children in the state’s foster care system.
Though this system is meant to protect children, there are, unfortunately, many instances where children face abuse while under its care. If your child suffered injuries, emotional trauma, or similar circumstances in St. Louis, MO, you may have legal options.
Reach out to a St. Louis foster care abuse lawyer at Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers for the aid and guidance you need. We offer a free case evaluation to explain your rights.
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How Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help With a Foster Care Abuse Claim in St. Louis, MO
Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers is a boutique law firm that has secured multi-million dollar wins for our clients.
Our relatively small firm size allows us to provide more individualized help so that we, in turn, can obtain the best results for you.
We offer the following services to our clients in St. Louis, Missouri:
- A free case assessment to ensure you have a valid claim and explain your options
- Evidence gathering to prove liability and damages
- Negotiations with insurance companies and other at-fault parties
- Representation in court if the case requires it
No child should suffer while in foster care, but our child injury lawyers are here to help if the worst comes to pass. Learn more about our legal services by contacting us today.
You can gain more insight into St. Louis foster care abuse statistics below.
How Prevalent Is Foster Care Abuse?
An average of 400,000 children enter the foster care system in the United States each year, with those between the ages of one and five making up the largest percentage of that figure. About 38% of white children and 64% of Native American children throughout the country reported a form of abuse while in foster care.
In particular, up to 40% of children experience sexual abuse within the foster care system, and those who have experienced it before entering are more likely to experience it within the system. A sizable majority — 61.4% — of sexual abuse cases in foster care occur to children who are over the age of eight.
Types of Foster Care Abuse
Child abuse in the foster care system occurs in various ways. Physical abuse is common, often causing injuries such as bruises, cigarette burns, broken bones, and even traumatic brain injuries that can result in long-term impairment.
Some signs that a child has suffered physical abuse in the foster system include the following:
- Flinching at sudden movements
- Mistrust and fear of adults
- An intense fear of going to the foster home or seeing the foster parents
- Dislike of any physical contact
Physical abuse can also take the form of neglect, leaving children unsupervised and without the nourishment or care they need. Neglect also involves not registering a child for school or not allowing the child to go to school.
On top of these forms, there is also medical neglect, which includes failures to do the following:
- Follow medical advice
- Provide emergency care when needed
- Offer prescribed medications
- Provide dental care
Another form of abuse in foster care is psychological or emotional abuse. These can include threats of punishment as well as bullying.
Any behavior that belittles, demeans, frightens, or humiliates a child is psychological abuse, as is the withholding of affection, guidance, and support. Signs of psychological abuse are similar to those of physical abuse. The child may also have low self-esteem issues and can be very fearful or aggressive.
Lastly, as explained above, sexual abuse is another serious type of child abuse that often occurs in foster care. It includes actions such as fondling, indecent exposure, showing pornography, forcing a child to undress, and sexual intercourse.
Common signs of sexual abuse include complaints of discomfort or pain in the genital region, difficulty sitting or walking, bloody underwear, bedwetting, nightmares, and sudden, drastic changes in behavior.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation With Our St. Louis Foster Care Abuse Attorneys
Abuse can cause serious long-term consequences that affect the child’s quality of life, and no child should ever experience any form of it. That said, if your child was placed into foster care in St. Louis, MO, and suffered while in the system, you may be able to fight for compensation.
At Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers, we know how complicated the entire process can be, and we’re here to help. Contact us to chedule a free consultation with our foster care abuse lawyers in St. Louis today for guidance through the process of filing a claim and fighting for your child’s rights. You can call us at (314) 400-0000.