General Question

chelli2234's avatar

I think my friend is being abused by his foster parents what do I do?

Asked by chelli2234 (13points) October 11th, 2009

I believe my friend is being abused by his foster parents. Im not positive but yet, I was in the room when their foster dad started physically abusing him. When my friend started to stand up for their self, their foster parent asked if they really wanted (his foster dad) to beat him up right there in front of me. I snuck into their house so, they threatened to call the cops. But I didn’t do anything wrong. So they let me go, but I havent heard from my friend since then. I don’t know what I should do?

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12 Answers

aphilotus's avatar

Document document document.

Things might be fresh in your mind right now, but if you can write everything down with clarity and simplicity about what you saw, what you supposed you saw, etc, and keep an ongoing record like that, then later if shit really hits the fan, you’ll have solid testimony about what you did and did not see.

I am not a lawyer, but it seems like your record of “his parents threatened him on monday night” combined with “he was taken to the hospital tuesday morning having “fallen down the stairs”” is the kind of dot-linking that is going to need to happen to get your friend out of that situation.

Also, talk to your parents about your suspicions. If you are old enough to post on Fluther coherently, you are old enough to say “mom, dad, I have something important to talk about. My friend, xyz, I think his foster parents are abusing him”

And if you don’t trust your parents, maybe you and your friend have a mutual teacher at school. Talk to them about it too.

And bring your written down evidence to all of this.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Yes, do exactly as @aphilotus says! Document what happened and tell your parents.

My guardian beat the snot out of me in front of one of my friends too, when I was 14. I wish either of us had had the knowledge and wherewithal to call Child Protective Services then; it would’ve saved me 5 years of physical and emotional abuse and 17 years of grief and guilt. Bless you for such caring about your friend!

hearkat's avatar

@aphilotus: Great answer! A guidance counselor at school would be another person to talk to… they are the ones who usually deal with these situations more than teachers do.

@aprilsimnel: (((((hugs)))))

@chelli2234: It is a touchy situation, and I am sure you are nervous and unsure about what really is the best thing to do.

First of all, consider your friend’s feelings and talk to him about it – if you have any uncertainty whether the abuse is physical or just threatened, ask him to clarify it. But realize this: Threats are still abuse! Express your concern for his well-being; and realize that he might be frightened, because he doesn’t know where he would go if the authorities remove him from that home. It is difficult to find foster homes for older kids. So ask him how he feels and what he believes is best for himself; and encourage him to go to his guidance counselor to talk about it.

If he refuses, then you can go to your own counselor to talk about your feelings. You don’t have to give your friend’s name or even his gender, and don’t say who you think abusing him, because then they could figure it out. Just say that you think a friend is being abused and keep your wording vague until you or he feel ready to make this an official report, because the school would have to report it by law.

However, if you don’t hear from him and he is not in school when you go back on Monday (or Tuesday, if you are off for the Columbus Day holiday) – then definitely go to the guidance counselor with all your documentation!

augustlan's avatar

Kudos to you for looking out for your friend. Follow the great advice above, and please let us know how it turns out!

Strauss's avatar

@chelli2234 I will chime in to echo all that is said above. You are a good friend to be that concerned. If you are currently keeping any kind of diary or journal, that would be the place to document your concerns. If not, there’s no better time than the present to begin.

also, as @hearkat says, seek out a guidance counselor, or a member of the clergy. They may have some resources we don’t know about in order to deal with the situation.

saraaaaaa's avatar

I agree with the documentation, and tell someone. Speaking as someone who went through something similar and didn’t get out, your friend may not have the power to get out of that situation on his own, no matter how much he wants to and parents who believe that it is ok to treat their kids that way need to be stopped.
Let us know how it goes and just make sure you are there for him as much as you can be, it seems like you are already doing that anyway ^^

tinyfaery's avatar

Tell someone at your school, if you go to the same school. All of those involved in education are mandatory reporters. Tell them every time you suspect something, witness something, or your friend tells you something.

Tell your parents, though lots of parents just refuse to get involved.

#1, be his friend. Listen to him, support him, try to encourage him to speak out about it. Foster kids often lack trust and tend to feel people are not on their sides. If he feels he can trust you and you will support him, it might make him able to tell his worker, or tell someone else.

Good luck! And lurve to you.

filmfann's avatar

Call CPS. The Foster family probably reports to them.
We like to think Foster parents are caring, nurturing people who take in damaged but misunderstood children who were damaged by deranged parents, but the truth is usually they are money hungry bastards who take advantage of the system, and either ignore the kids, or damage them further.
And most foster kids are no picnic either.

And welcome to fluther. Lurve

RedPowerLady's avatar

You can call child protective services anonymously. If you do not feel comfortable doing anything else this is the most basic step to take. The other answers are great and spot-on but I thought I would mention that this option can be anonymous. How do you get their number? You google CPS + Name of town you live in.

You could also call 1–800-4 A CHILD

neersuccess's avatar

Absolutely write everything done in the greatest detail possible, if you can do this on the compunter and make sure to include the date you wrote it as well as the days that you saw the abuse happen and the date that the foster parent threatened to hurt their child and lastly dont for get to sign the document and print two copys one for yourself and one to give to athorities. There is absolutely no excuse for any form of abuse in any relationship. The next step would be to if possible get intouch with the orginizer of the foster services and present to them the acount you just wrote. If you cant get intouch with the foster services then the local police would do the trick as well. You should know however that if the situation is a serious as it sounds yourfriend will be taken out of that home and placed in a new one, unfortunetly this may mean he or she might have to move. Whatever the outcome, the most important thing to remember is that you have significantly helped your friend and hopefully gotten them into a safer place.
Good Luck!

YoH's avatar

Documenting is great advice. Also contacting the police may put you in touch with an advocate who will know exactly what to do in the safest way for everyone. I urge you to share this immediately.

Tinbobtina's avatar

Report it. They’ll get the kid out of there and any other kids theirs or foster kids removed, then they’ll ask the questions

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