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Abuse of Children in Foster and Residential Care

NCJ Number
Child Abuse & Neglect Volume: 23 Issue: 12 Dated: December 1999 Pages: 1239-1252
Georgina F. Hobbs; Christopher J. Hobbs; Jane M. Wynne
Date Published
14 pages
This article examines the characteristics of physical and sexual abuse of children in foster and residential care in a city in England.
There have recently been many debates in the UK about how to provide good care for children placed away from home. Professionals have realized that the level of child abuse in foster care and children's homes is high. This retrospective study examined 158 children, fostered or in residential care in Leeds, England, who were involved in 191 episodes of alleged physical and/or sexual abuse over the period 1990 to 1995. Details about the children included the reason for placement in care, their physical and mental health, and abuse characteristics, including perpetrator and case management. The study compared the number of cases of abuse in this group, as reported by pediatricians, to the number reported by the same pediatricians for the city population as a whole. Foster children were 7 to 8 times and children in residential care 6 times more likely to be assessed by a pediatrician for abuse than a child in the general population. Tables, references