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118 Capitol Street, Suite 400, Charleston, West Virginia 25301

West Virginia Foster Care Abuse Attorneys Provide Strong Counsel

Charleston firm stands up for people harmed by their caregivers

Minors whose parents can no longer care for them are supposed to find a safe haven within the foster care system. Group homes and other facilities operate under state authorization to care for children who require shelter and guidance. Likewise, sometimes families agree to take in a foster child for the wrong reasons. At The Giatras Law Firm, PLLC in Charleston, we are effective West Virginia foster care abuse attorneys who represent clients throughout the state. Through exhaustive research and skillful advocacy, we press for appropriate compensation whether the improper acts occurred recently or years ago.

How common is abuse in foster care?

With more than 7,000 West Virginia children in foster care and over 400,000 nationally, there is a serious need for families and organizations who will take in one or more young people. With such a high number of children in need, it is not uncommon for them to be placed in homes where they suffer abuse at the hands of their caregivers. There is a licensing and training process for those who wish to foster, but temporary approval could be granted in 30-60 days. Even adult caregivers who complete the entire training and review process might not be worthy caregivers.

Types of foster care abuse

Children who are living in a foster home are vulnerable to several different types of abuse and frequently lack a supportive adult who can help. Foster parents and caregivers who cannot control themselves might subject a child to physical abuse out of a misguided effort at discipline. Though fostering is meant to give young people the attention they could not receive from their parents, many children are neglected in their new homes as well. In both group and private settings, sex abuse is a serious concern. If you know of someone who is being abused or neglected in a foster home or you were victimized by this type of mistreatment in the past, our attorneys can outline what legal options are available.

Symptoms of foster care abuse

Abuse in a foster care environment can trigger urgent injuries and lifelong emotional harm. Should you notice unexplained marks or bruises on a child, further investigation might be warranted. Even if frequent injuries or illnesses cannot be linked to direct acts, they might indicate that a youth is being neglected by the adults who are legally responsible for their well-being. Emotional and behavioral problems could also be symptoms of foster care abuse and might not present themselves until years later.

What are typical reasons foster care abuse happens?

Many factors contribute to abuse in foster homes. Often, the screening of caregivers and foster parents fails to recognize someone who is a potential threat to young people. Facilities and even families might have a financial motivation for taking in more children than they can safely handle. Young people sometimes wind up in group homes even when that is not the right setting for them. Even if placement is appropriate, lack of oversight can create a situation where abuse and neglect goes unseen by authorities.

How to report foster care abuse in West Virginia

The Bureau for Children and Families under West Virginia’s Department of Health and Human Resources operates a 24-hour hotline. If you suspect sex abuse or another type of mistreatment is taking place involving a child in foster care, you can call and report it. It is important to remember that West Virginia sometimes sends foster children to group homes in other states, including Pennsylvania. This can make reporting problems and obtaining legal relief more complicated, but our proven attorneys are capable of handling even the most complex cases and determined to maximize our clients’ compensation.

Contact a West Virginia attorney to discuss a potential foster care abuse case

The Giatras Law Firm, PLLC in Charleston represents West Virginia plaintiffs in claims involving the abuse of children in foster care. Please call 888-819-1281 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with an accomplished lawyer dedicated to achieving a measure of justice for victims.