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  3. How Families Can Be Affected



Abuse and neglect can hurt children in the short term. But there are long-term consequences as well. Children who were abused or neglected can suffer developmental delays and other difficulties. Those problems can also affect foster care families that don’t know the children’s history. The foster care abuse and negligence attorneys at Deratany & Kosner know how these families can be hurt and fight to protect their rights.

Children who were abused and neglected lived in fear of mistreatment and never learned appropriate ways to act in a well-adjusted home or at school. They share some common traits:

  • They don’t trust people. The people who were supposed to take care of them abused them instead. Abused children often feel that other adults will also abuse them somehow, so they learn not to trust anyone. They may see all adults as a threat.
  • They feel worthless. Abused children were not treated as being valuable, and may have been told they were no good. Negative actions and words from parents or other caregivers send very powerful messages to children. They start to believe they are worthless and can’t imagine why any adult would think otherwise.
  • They have trouble with emotions. Children who were abused never felt it was safe to express their emotions, so they kept feelings bottled in. This often leads to feelings of anxiety, depression and anger. Those feelings are sometimes difficult to control and can come out in unexpected ways.

Abused children deserve to feel valued and loved. But they are often not ready for those feelings. It takes time to build that kind of trust and self-esteem. When adoptive or foster care parents know the child’s history of being abused, they can take things slow and prepare themselves for problems.


Foster care families want to give children a second chance. But they deserve to know all of the facts. Private and public agencies must disclose the background information of the child the family is considering taking in. The parents have the right to any information about the child’s background that could affect them. This includes any known incidents of abuse or neglect, or whether a child may have any developmental problems related to the birth mother’s alcohol or drug use during pregnancy.

When a foster care agency does not inform parents about the child’s background, the family is put at risk. A child who was abused or neglected can feel threatened in a new environment and lash out. This can come in the form of destruction of property or even violence against family members. They may turn to alcohol or other drugs, which can lead to further problems for themselves and their new family.

There’s no excuse when a family member gets hurt because a foster care agency withheld information. The attorneys at Deratany & Kosner fight to hold these agencies responsible when their negligence left families hurt. Family members can be physically injured and have property destroyed. They can suffer emotional distress. We help them recover damages.

If you have suffered damages because of a foster care agency’s negligence, call us at 800-529-7285. We offer a free consultation.

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