States failing to track abuse in foster care facilities: Report

June 26, 2024

Many states are failing to track how often children in foster care facilities are abused, the Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General said in a report.

The report, published Wednesday, assessed how states monitor if children are being mistreated in residential facilities. Its findings suggest many had missing or incomplete information in areas that could provide oversight.

There are nearly 50,000 children in foster care facilities nationwide, and states are not doing enough to examine which facilities are problematic, The Associated Press noted.

Nearly one-third of states could not identify patterns of maltreatment in their residential facilities and had limited awareness of cross-state maltreatment at facilities that are chains.

Thirteen states did not report to the national database about if children who experienced maltreatment are living in a foster-care facility, the report said.

The office recommended that the Administration for Children and Families should provide guidance and technical assistance to build a monitoring capability both in state facilities and chains across the country.

The report also recommended the administration improves its reporting procedures for the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System.

The findings come just two weeks after a Senate report was released that found children who are placed in residential treatment facilities are at risk for sexual and emotional abuse, physical restraint and overmedication.

The Senate report found that facilities put profit over the children’s wellbeing and children suffered as a result.