Thursday, May 14, 2015

Is Sex Abuse in Maine's Child Welfare System more common than you think?

It's been all over the news over the last few days, about that Larry Oxton sicko foster care provider from Belfast who was arrested for sexually abusing a 9 year old who was place in his care by DHHS, supposedly to keep her safe or protect her from abuse and neglect or some nonsense like that.  Obviously they failed this kid horribly and my heart and prayers go out to her that she may heal.

As disturbing as this case is, even more disturbing than that is that this is being reported as an isolated case that is so rare and so shocking that nobody is even asking the question if this is common in Maine.  Nobody is asking if foster kids are safe while in Maine's highly secretive foster care system.  Nobody knows.

Or do we?

Just over the last couple years alone there have been several reports of abuse in foster care, some that have taken place over many years.

For example, the Portland Press Herald reported that Gordon Collins-Faunce, the former foster child who threw his 11 week old son into a chair was said to have been sexually abused while in foster care.
Collins-Faunce has been taking medication for post-traumatic stress disorder that he suffers because he was physically and sexually abused as a child by various foster parents, the affidavit says.
Maine infant dies from brain injuries; father remains jailed
So what does "various foster parents" mean?  More than one perhaps?  Now not to condone what this kid did or anything, but I personally find that phrase rather disturbing.  It shows that the kid perhaps wasn't in his right mind at the time of his crimes, or perhaps a monster was created during his childhood.  I don't know.

Then we have the case of the Wabanaki Indian Tribes whose children were taken for the purpose of cultural genocide.  Although I'm not claiming to know anything about how often or to how many of these kids this happened, the claims have been reported.
When Altvater was 7, she and her five sisters were taken from their mother and spent four years living in a group home where they were physically, emotionally and sexually abused.
State’s taking of Wabanaki children discussed at MLK Day breakfast
or...
He was sent to live with a white family in Dennysville, a short distance from his reservation in Princeton.”In that foster home, I got sexually abused,” says Sockabasin. 
Truth and Reconciliation- Part One
And let's not forget the case where the CPS Worker from Vermont came and did an inappropriate physical examination on a young girl in Bangor.
Vermont child caseworker gets 18 months behind bars for unlawful sexual contact with Maine girl
Now I don't want to make it sound like every foster parent or child welfare official out there in Maine is a potential pedophile or anything as I'm sure most would never do such a thing. It does make you wonder why it's swept under the rug in some cases, glossed over in a few more cases but harped on in others.  It makes you wonder if this problem is more than just a few isolated occurrences.

At least one thing can be said.  It happens.  There's no denying that.

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