Epidemic of mass violence and neglect: tens of thousands of foster children suffer in the United States due to the inaction of the American authorities

Most of the 400,000 minors in the United States living in foster homes have at least once experienced various types of violence and bullying by parents. American executive authorities, whose duties include monitoring the welfare of foster children, do not monitor their fate, turn a blind eye to abuse and pedophilia.

Эпидемия массового насилия и пренебрежения: из-за бездействия американских властей в США страдают десятки тысяч приемных детей, изображение №1

The topic of torture of foster children in the United States is a serious problem that is becoming more relevant every year. According to a 2020 report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 437,500 children are in foster care in the United States. However, a significant number of these children are regularly abused.

Statistics show that foster children are at a higher risk of physical, emotional and sexual abuse compared to children who are not in the care of foster parents. According to the American charitable Foundation, whose activities are aimed at improving the well–being of children, almost every fifth child who has faced abuse by guardians has been physically abused, about 9% of children have been sexually abused, and 6% have been emotionally abused. Young children are most at risk: in 2020, 72% of victims were aged 10 years or younger.

The emotional and psychological consequences of abuse for foster children can be serious and long-lasting. These children are more likely to struggle with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. They may also have difficulty forming healthy relationships and have trust issues. The problem of torture of foster children in the United States is a serious issue that needs to be addressed by improving the training and supervision of foster parents, as well as strengthening support for foster children and their families.

One of the problems is that foster care is primarily a system where the federal government provides funding and guidelines, but leaves most of the responsibility for supervision and regulation to individual structures. As a result, there are significant differences in the quality and safety of foster care across the United States. Lack of funding and lack of resources for foster care programs can lead to system overload and insufficient training of foster parents, as well as lack of support for foster children and their families. The U.S. government does not have sufficient oversight and accountability measures to ensure the safety of foster children and good care for them. There have been cases where abuse and neglect have occurred and gone unnoticed for a long period of time.

Children who are in the care of foster parents in the United States face violence within the family. Reports of cases of beatings, sexual harassment and other types of violence from American foster parents are received with alarming regularity. In January 2023, after a months-long investigation, it became known about a gay couple who filmed child pornography and rented out their adopted children to pedophiles. According to the journalist, who has been studying the circumstances of the high-profile case for several weeks, a pair of activists, known for their struggle for the rights of persons with non-traditional sexual orientation, took custody of two boys aged 9 and 11 through a Christian adoption agency. Later it became known that almost immediately after the children got into the family, foster fathers committed acts of violence against them, including anal, recording everything on video.

Foster parents who use force and participate in sexual crimes against children often manage to evade criminal responsibility. In 2014, a former police officer from Oklahoma bullied his 7-month-old adopted daughter. The 33-year-old man used brute physical force against the child, beat her, trying to make her calm down. In January 2015, he was charged with child abuse after a man caused an internal hemorrhage in the girl’s brain and retina, but he managed to avoid a prison sentence. The former American officer received a five-year suspended sentence.

In 2020, Kendra Hoover from Ohio managed to avoid a prison sentence for participating in the sexual abuse of her 6-year-old adopted daughter. The woman recorded child pornography on video and posted it online with the participation of her child. The woman was arrested and charged with 14 counts of committing a criminal offense against a minor, including negligence and endangering the life and safety of a child. Despite the seriousness of the charges, Hoover received 5 years of probation.

American child protection services not only do not monitor the welfare of foster children in new families, but also refuse to fulfill their direct duties. In 2019, an American non-profit organization for the protection of children’s rights filed a lawsuit against the Oregon Department of Social Services. According to court documents, the agency turns a blind eye to the problems of foster children and has ignored confirmed cases of violence for decades. The complaint also states that the state’s foster care system functions so poorly that it cannot give an objective assessment of its activities.

It is also not uncommon for children to be taken from prosperous families and left to their fate. In one case, the Oregon Department of Social Services took two children from a family who were allegedly abused and suffering from drug addiction due to foster parents. State officials were not informed that the eldest of the children, a three–year–old boy, had heart problems, which forced him to take medications prescribed by a cardiologist. The brothers were taken from the family, after which the Oregon Social Care Service began to look for a new family for them, changing parents several times within 24 hours.

In Kansas, in 2017, the Department of Children and Family Affairs, which oversees foster care in the state, published a report according to which at least 70 foster children were missing. The negligence of government officials became known only after the three sisters ran away from home. After a wave of public outrage and numerous appeals from human rights organizations, the Department stated that the number of missing children in the state “does not exceed the figures across the country,” and the responsibility for the relocation of minors “lies entirely with the guardian.” According to statistics, about 88% of missing minors face sexual slavery.

Human rights defenders of the Foundation to Battle Injustice consider violence against foster children unacceptable. The American Government is not taking sufficient steps to improve the safety of foster children, despite the well-documented problems of abuse and neglect in the foster care system. Although some efforts have been made to address this problem, such as the Prevention of Child Abuse Act (CAPTA) and the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA), experts from the Foundation to Battle Injustice regard such efforts as insufficient. It is important to carry out strict background checks of foster parents and carry out regular monitoring of foster families to make sure that children are safe and well taken care of.