The wrong foster parent can pose a security threat to a child and a liability threat to a human service agency. So, do you know someone who wants to be a foster parent? Expect them to be vetted as part of the home study process.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “In recent decades, the number of Americans who have had contact with the criminal justice system has increased exponentially. It is estimated that about one in three adults now has a criminal history record—which often consists of an arrest that did not lead to conviction, a conviction for which the person was not sentenced to a term of incarceration, or a conviction for a nonviolent crime.”
Vetting is the clearance process required for people who will have substantial unsupervised access to children. The purpose is to provide an appropriate level of assurance as to the trustworthiness, integrity, and probable reliability of the prospective foster parent. Such things as criminal background, identity verification, employment history, character, and residency are checked. Results of the vetting should not be taken at face value. Additional probing is key.
Extensive citation of social science research is unnecessary for us to know that child sexual abuse is one of the most underreported crimes. Likewise, most people would be hard pressed to think of a crime as despicable as child sexual abuse, and we have few qualms about strict sentences for such offenders. So when an Orange County, California, Superior Court judge recently sentenced a child rapist to 10 years instead of the mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years, the community was outraged. Tens of thousands of people called for the judge to resign.
It happens—albeit rarely—that people are wrongfully convicted of child sexual abuse and are later exonerated. The National Registry of Exonerations (NRE), a project of the University of Michigan Law School “provides detailed information about every known exoneration in the United States since 1989—cases in which a person was wrongly convicted of a crime and later cleared of all the charges based on new evidence of innocence.”
This article looks at the 181 cases of people listed in the NRE registry as exonerated for “child sex abuse” from 2010 through August 2015.
They may not make the national news too frequently, but minors in rural areas are sexually assaulted – very often.
Federal and state legislatures have enacted laws designed to protect minors from registered sex offenders. Adopted in 1996, Megan’s Law created a nationwide sex offender registry. Every state followed suit.
Codified in California Penal Code, §§ 290 et seq. (including a voter-approved measure known as “Jessica’s Law”) regulates the residency of registered sex offenders. It prohibits registered sex offenders from residing within 2,000 feet ...
Children who have been abused or neglected need safe and nurturing relationships that address the effects of child maltreatment. If you are parenting a child who has been abused or neglected, you might have questions about your child’s experiences and the effects of those experiences. This factsheet is intended to help parents (birth, foster, and adoptive) and other caregivers better understand the challenges of caring for a child who has experienced maltreatment and learn about the resources available for support. (In some cases, the term “birth” parent is used to distinguish parents with children involved with child welfare from kin or foster or adoptive parents.)
Children who have experienced traumatic events need to feel safe and loved. All parents want to provide this kind of nurturing home for their children. However, when parents do not have an understanding of the effects of trauma, they may misinterpret their child’s behavior and end up feeling frustrated or resentful. Their attempts to address troubling behavior may be ineffective or, in some cases, even harmful.
This factsheet discusses the nature of trauma, its effects on children and youth, and ways to help your child. By increasing your understanding of trauma, you can help support your child’s healing, your relationship with him or her, and your family as a whole.
You may be a current or prospective foster or adoptive parent of a child with a known or suspected history of child sexual abuse. In some cases, you may not be certain that abuse has occurred, but you may have suspicions based on information you received or because of the child’s behavior. You may feel confused, concerned, and unsure of the impact of prior child maltreatment, including sexual abuse.
This article investigates the extent to which departments of human services should be mandated by statute to videotape child sexual abuse investigative interviews. While numerous states instruct that videotaping may be done, most do so only by regulation or administrative directive.