YakimA County, Washington: FOSTER ABUSE

Yakima County, WA

Yakima County, WA: (May-26-07) Tim Farris, a Bellingham, WA lawyer and critic of Washington’s foster-care system, has been known to repeatedly file lawsuits against the State Department of Social and Health Services. He filed one more lawsuit against the department recently, on behalf of injured children, accusing the department and social workers of negligence over the sexual abuse of an 8-year-old foster child. Farris said the abuse occurred in the summer of 2002, shortly after the 8-year-old was placed in the home of a new foster mother in Ellensburg. Also in the home was an older boy that Farris said had a documented history of sexually aggressive behavior. He said DSHS failed to properly train the foster mother and did not even warn her that the older boy had such problems. In a related twist, a social worker assigned to investigate the abuse allegations was fired by a supervisor who was the husband of the supervisor of the social worker who made the placement. As part of the settlement that Farris reached with the county, the sexual abuse lawsuit was resolved with a $290,000 payout. [YAKIMA HERALD: FOSTER ABUSE]

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