The guardian of two girls sexually abused in a foster home filed a lawsuit against Oregon’s Department of Human Services, claiming they didn’t do anything to prevent the abuse.
According to the lawsuit, the state put the 5 and 7-year-old sisters in the same foster home as a 13-year-old boy with a history of domestic abuse. During the two months they were in the home in 2014, the boy allegedly touched them inappropriately, forced them to touch his penis and raped one of them. He also masturbated in front of the younger sister and threatened the older sister with harm if she ever told anyone about the abuse.
The abuse the girls endured resulted in a lot of mental suffering. They felt shame for what had happened and had frequent nightmares. The girls, who are developmentally disabled, suffered previous abuse before moving into the foster home.
The lawsuit also claims one of the foster parents demanded that the boy be taken out of the home after just one month. However, DHS didn’t listen to the request and let the teen stay there for another month.
“These failures were a direct and foreseeable cause of the sexual abuse and damages suffered” by the girls, the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit seeks $15 million in damages.
The spokeswoman for DHS declined to make a comment about the pending lawsuit.
The foster system in Oregon have been having a lot of problems.
“Oregon’s most vulnerable children are being placed into a foster care system that has serious problems. Child welfare workers are burning out and consistently leaving the system in high numbers. The supply of suitable foster homes and residential facilities is dwindling, resulting in some children spending days and weeks in hotels. Foster parents are struggling with limited training, support and resources. “Agency management’s response to these problems has been slow, indecisive and inadequate,” stated a portion of the audit report, released in May.