A lawsuit alleges that a social worker helped a 13-year-old foster girl get an abortion and then kept her in the home with her abusers, a foster father and foster brother.
The plaintiff is not named nor is the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services is not named as a defendant in the suit, but the accuser is listed only as F.M. and makes the accusations against a “Doe” agency listed at the same address as the DCFS offices, local ABC 7 reports.
The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday and does not specify damages sought.
The woman claims that a caseworker at the agency arranged for her to have an abortion when she became pregnant at the age of 13 after being raped by a foster brother.
She also says she was sexually abused by the foster father and another foster brother, and yet the caseworker kept her in their home for another two years after the abortion.
The lawsuit points to the fact that “Maltreatment of children in foster care has been a problem that defendants have failed to address in a reasonable manner consistent with their duties to children under their jurisdiction.”
The plaintiff accuses the agency of having covered up her repeated sexual abuse at the hands of the foster family entrusted with housing and caring for her.
She says that the agency was aware or had reason to be aware of the repeated abuse, but “covered up their knowledge of (the foster brother’s) sexual abuse of plaintiff, thereby allowing such further abuse to continue.”
“The foster parents … were approved, licensed, trained, supervised and/or compensated by defendants,” the suit also states.
The suit states that F.M. was in the care of the foster system for about 13 years beginning in 1984. After being repeatedly assaulted by her foster father and brothers, she was told by a doctor she’d contracted an STD and was five months pregnant.
While her foster mother took her into the doctor after she was experiencing pain, her caseworker advised her to get an abortion and arranged it for her, even taking her to the clinic where it was performed.
Nonetheless, the suit alleges that F.M. and her sister were kept in the foster home for another two years, where the assault continued.
The DCFS issued a statement on Thursday affirming their commitment to the safety and security of the children placed in their care and declining to comment on any ongoing legal cases.
“At any given time, the Department of Children and Family Services serves more than 34,000 children in Los Angeles County with an unwavering commitment to pursue child safety every day in our communities; our nearly 9,000 employees take that role very seriously and work hard to safeguard the children in our care,” the statement read.
“All DCFS employees and contracted providers are held to the highest standards to ensure that the public trust in our service is honored and maintained. We cannot comment on any pending claim, litigation or lawsuit involving the department at this time.”
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