A woman is suing the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, alleging she was sexually abused as a child by her foster father and two foster brothers, impregnated at age 13 by one of the brothers, arranged to have an abortion by her caseworker and kept in the home and abused for another two years.
The plaintiff is identified only as F.M. in the Los Angeles Superior Court negligence suit, which does not specifically identify the DCFS as a defendant, but instead refers to it as a “Doe” agency with an address of 425 Shatto Place, the location of the DCFS offices.
“Maltreatment of children in foster care has been a problem that defendants have failed to address in a reasonable manner consistent with their duties to children under their jurisdiction,” according to the suit, which also alleges a coverup of F.M.’s abuse by the agency.
The suit filed Wednesday seeks unspecified damages.
The DCFS issued a statement Thursday regarding the suit.
“At any given time, the Department of Children and Family Services serves more than 34,000 children in Los Angeles County with an unwavering commitment to pursue child safety every day in our communities; our nearly 9,000 employees take that role very seriously and work hard to safeguard the children in our care,” the statement read. “All DCFS employees and contracted providers are held to the highest standards to ensure that the public trust in our service is honored and maintained. We cannot comment on any pending claim, litigation or lawsuit involving the department at this time.”
The DCFS placed F.M. and her sister, J.M., in foster care for about 13 years beginning in 1984, the suit states.
“The foster parents … were approved, licensed, trained, supervised and/or compensated by defendants,” the suit states.
F.M.’s foster father repeatedly sexually assaulted and abused F.M., as did the plaintiff’s two foster brothers, according to the suit.
In 1993, when F.M. was 13 years old, she contracted a sexually transmitted disease as the result of one of the brother’s sexual assaults and she also experienced pain in her private parts, so her foster mother took her to a doctor, the suit states.
“At the doctor’s office, she was diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease and advised that she was five months pregnant,” the suit states.
F.M.’s pregnancy was reported to her case worker, who told her to get an abortion and took her to a clinic to have it done, according to the suit.
The DCFS kept F.M. and her sister in the foster home for another two years and the two foster brothers continued to molest her, the suit states.
The DCFS knew or had reason to know about the one foster brother’s abuse and impregnation of F.M., and the subsequent abortion, but “covered up their knowledge of (the foster brother’s) sexual abuse of plaintiff, thereby allowing such further abuse to continue,” according to the suit.