Without warning a Lowell-area family says the Department of Children and Families placed a foster child in their home and never disclosed he could be a threat to other children.
The foster parents say that child sexually assaulted their 4-year-old daughter. Now, they are suing DCF, hoping to prevent this from happening again.
This family has fostered hundreds of children since the 1970s and they continue to do so. They say they were willing to take children with any type background, but they say DCF’s failure to give any warning about a 12-year-old boy, sent to them on an emergency placement, led to the abuse of their 4-year-old daughter under their own roof.
“Foster parents need to know what's coming into their house. We’re not told and it's dangerous,” said foster parent Mrs. C.
The woman, whom we're calling Mrs. C., says she and her husband have opened their home to more than 500 foster children. We aren't identifying Mrs. C. to protect her daughter, who they first fostered and later adopted.
“She would come into our room and say 'Mommy, there's a monster in my room.' And I'd do the mommy thing and say ‘No…there's no monsters…get back to bed,” said Mrs. C.
She later learned the monster her daughter was referring to was a foster child placed in her home by the Department of Children and Families.
The child was four when she allegedly first revealed the abuse to her father.
“She jumped up on his stomach and started bouncing up and down. She said ‘Do you know what humping is?’ She said ‘When this kid does it to me I don't like it,’” said Mrs. C.
Later, Mrs. C. made a disturbing discovery.
“Her favorite baby dolls had been mutilated. One of them and her fingers cut and she said that was because she cut her fingers off because she wouldn't touch him. And he mutilated the dolls mouths and ears and said it's because the doll wouldn't listen to him and the doll wouldn't kiss him,” said Mrs. C.
Mrs. C and her family filed this lawsuit against DCF for failing to protect them by placing a foster child in the home without explaining the risks.
The family says they obtained hospital records from when they brought their daughter to be checked that indicate the DCF social worker told a doctor the foster child had been 'sexually abused' and that he previously tried to abuse another child.
“He had been removed from another foster house for the very problem that happened in my house later. They put the children in my home in danger,” said Mrs. C.
Boston 25 News made several attempts to get a response from DCF. A spokesperson sent us the following statement:
“Due to pending litigation, the Department of Children and Families is unable to comment.”
Mrs. C says DCF is trying to get their case dismissed, citing the agency and its workers are 'sovereignly immune from liability' because the alleged abuser was a 3rd party, the foster child.
“We promised to protect her and they betrayed us and that's not right. They should stand up for what they did and they should take responsibility for it,” said Mrs. C.
This case has been in the court system since 2015.
On June 22, a judge is expected to decide whether the case against DCF has merit to move forward.
Cox Media Group