Personal Injury Lawyers

Serving Chicago Illinois

Know the Signs of Foster Care Abuse and Neglect

Our attorneys hold negligent parties responsible

Children who suffer abuse or neglect are often too afraid to tell anyone. That's one reason child abuse so often goes unreported. Another reason is that people don't know the warning signs of child abuse. The foster care abuse and negligence attorneys at The Deratany Firm have handled many cases involving child abuse and neglect. They know that some signs are common among victims.

There are a few cases in which it's obvious a child has been abused. The child has been badly beaten, or a very young girl becomes pregnant. But more often, the signs of foster care abuse and neglect are not so obvious.

Signs of physical abuse


  • Unexplained bruises, broken bones or burns
  • Injuries that have a pattern, as if made by a hand or belt
  • Child flinches at sudden movements
  • Seem frightened of going home to a parent or caregiver
  • A deep fear and mistrust of adults
  • Extreme discomfort with any kind of physical contact
  • Seems unusually withdrawn or aggressive

Signs of emotional/psychological abuse


  • Child seems very fearful of doing something wrong
  • Child has very poor self-confidence or self-esteem
  • Extremes in behavior (very passive or very aggressive, very compliant or very demanding)
  • Acts inappropriately older (by taking care of other children) or younger (throwing tantrums or thumb-sucking)
  • Does poorly in school
  • Socially withdrawn
  • Complains of frequent headaches or stomachaches

Signs of sexual abuse


  • Bloody underwear
  • Complains about pain in the genital area
  • Difficulty walking or sitting
  • Reports of nightmares or bedwetting
  • Seems to know a lot about sexual behavior
  • Forms attachments very quickly with strangers or new adults

Signs of neglect


  • Poor hygiene
  • Frequent absences from school
  • Seems to lack basic medical and dental care
  • Not properly dressed for the weather
  • Seems constantly hungry

In order to put a stop to child abuse and neglect, it's important for all adults to know these warning signs. It's also important to know what to do if you suspect foster care abuse or neglect. Once abuse has been recognized, steps can be taken to protect the child and hold the negligent parties responsible.

Helping children and families

The negligence of an foster care agency can put many people in harm's way. The Deratany Firm is dedicated to learning the truth and taking action against the negligent personnel and agencies.

Some children are abused or neglected after being placed in a foster home that was not properly vetted by an agency. Children end up getting hit. Or terrorized through emotional abuse. Or they are not fed or clothed properly. Or they are sexually abused by a person who is supposed to take care of them. Our attorneys fight to protect these children and can take action against the negligent agencies that put them there.

We also protect the rights of responsible foster care families who had an abused or neglected child placed with them. These children have special needs and can react negatively to new situations. If a foster care family was not aware of previous abuse or neglect, they can become victims themselves.

The attorneys at The Deratany Firm are passionate about putting a stop to child abuse and neglect and protecting the rights of victims. Learn more about how we can help you by calling us at 800-529-7285 for a free consultation. We serve clients in Chicago and throughout the nation.