Faculty Scholarship

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2001


This article will attempt to draw attention to the pervasive problem of child sexual abuse in foster care by identifying circumstances that contribute to sexual victimization. Hopefully the discussion will illuminate the plight of child victims of sexual abuse and generate discourse on a new paradigm of protection initiatives for foster children. Part I of the article will explain child protection proceedings and how children enter the foster care system. Part II will describe common characteristics of state foster care systems. Part III will discuss traditional notions of child sexual abuse and their illusory application in the context of sexual behaviors that occur solely between minor children. Part IV will discuss the prevalence of child sexual abuse in the foster care system and the factors that increase the likelihood of these incidents. Part V will examine Florida's acquiescence in the systemic abuse of foster children, the state's failure to take corrective action on the issue of child sexual abuse, and the resultant impact on foster children placed in its care. Part VI will examine judicial intervention and the right of foster children to be protected from harm while in foster care. Finally, Part VII will conclude the article by addressing the need for increased attention to the problem of child sexual abuse in the foster care system.

First Page