I-TEAM: Mom blows the whistle after daughter molested in foster care system
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A mother is furious after she says her 9-year-old daughter was molested while in the state’s foster care system.
“Whew. I was upset because I thought my daughter was safe,” she said.
WAFB chose not to identify the mother in order to protect the child’s identity but she said the unthinkable happened back in July 2023 but she said she was not alerted to the situation until she went to court about a week or two after the fact.
“I didn’t know it happened,” she said. “I actually found out when I went to court, juvenile court, and I would have never known if my private attorney wouldn’t have told me.”
According to a report from Gulf Coast Social Services, a contractor through the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), the young girl was playing in a homemade fort built out of some bedding in a back room when another foster child allegedly made the 9-year-old perform oral sex on her. The pair was caught in the act when another child walked in on them and alerted the foster mother. Hospital records reveal the child was then checked out and sent back home.
“I can’t really talk about it with her. She was just like that happened and she was nervous and asking certain questions, you know, stuff that was uncomfortable,” the mother said.
The mother said she was disgusted that it happened to her child, especially because her daughter is so young and confused by the situation.
WAFB’s Scottie Hunter asked the mother what her daughter has been asking her about the ordeal.
“She asked was it okay for what happened and I told her ‘well, if you believe in Jesus Christ, it’s a sin- we know that’ and she said okay. But then she kept asking me if I was mad at her and you know, and that it wasn’t her fault,” the mother explained.
On top of the pain of facing the sexual abuse, the mother said what is more hurtful is that she has waited almost two years to get her four kids back. She claims there was little movement in her case until after her daughter was molested.
“Ever since that happened doors have been opening and I know it’s not because I completed the case plan or you feel like she’s a good mother and she’ll be okay- let’s monitor her for a few months and that’s what’s hurting me,” she said. “That’s what’s upsetting me very bad.”
Now that mother said her mind is racing at the thought of what could have happened to her other children that are currently in the state foster care system.
WAFB did reach out to DCFS for comment regarding the allegations in this report. A spokesperson released the following statement.
Thank you for giving DCFS the opportunity to respond. As you know, because of confidentiality laws, the department is very limited in its ability to respond in cases involving child abuse and neglect. Generally, we can’t even acknowledge the existence of a potential investigation of abuse or neglect involving a child. If there is an investigation, state laws make the entire process – from report to investigation to outcome – confidential. Except in limited instances, even if we are presented with information we disagree with, state law prevents us from refuting the information or responding in any way about the specifics of the case.
While we cannot speak to this case in particular, we strongly believe in our established practice of taking action to protect the best interests of the safety of a child. We take our responsibility for any child in our care and custody seriously. It’s important to point out that decisions about removing children from their home or returning children to families are made after much review and with the consideration of a variety of factors and assessments, as well as the input of judges, DAs, attorneys for both children and parents, CASA and others. Ultimately, the decision regarding custody is in the hands of the court.
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