This monday, a 24 year old foster parent was arrested for forcing her 17 year old foster child into prostitution in South Dakota. According to the report, 24 year old Autumn Dubray was a court appointment guardian of the 17 year old victim. After losing her job, Dubray have been prostituting herself and brought men to her apartment for prostitution. Dubray also told the 17 year old girl that if the 17 year old did not sleep with one of the men that she brought home for prostitution, she would have to kick her out of the apartment. As novel as it sounds to many Americans, this case however reveals only a glimpse of the truth behind the foster care system in the United States.
Child sexual exploitation in foster care system
Dubray is not the only foster parent who willfully exploited with her foster child. One research by the New York University School of Social Work rather shows the prevalence of such exploitative foster parents as follows:
In Maryland, a 1992 study found that substantiated allegations of sexual abuse in foster care are four times higher than that found among the general population.
In Kentucky, sex abuse in foster care was “all over the newspapers,” according to department head Larry Michalczyk.
In this “exemplary” program [where foster parents and social workers received special training on child exploitation], 24 percent of the girls responding to a survey said they were victims of actual or attempted sexual abuse in the one home in which they had stayed the longest. Significantly, they were not even asked about the other foster homes in which they had stayed.
What’s more, one study by Johns Hopkins University says that the rate of sexual abuse within the foster care system is four times higher than it is in general population. Also, the rate of sexual abuse in group home is 28 times higher than that of the general population.
Foster care and sex slavery
Child sexual abuse in foster care, among many other things, becomes an hindrance in fight against human trafficking. As much as children under foster care are vulnerably exposed to sexual exploitation within the system, they are more likely to enter into the world of prostitution with the low self-esteem and other psychological factors leading them to sell their bodies. In particular, young adults who are no longer eligible to be under the state foster care system choose to enter the prostitution for survival. In some cases, pimps use foster homes to recruit younger girls for prostitution by sending other girls working for them.
State has proven itself to be a failure of raising the children that it never gave birth to. It may be able to provide the children with the money for food, cloths and doctor’s appointment, but not the attention and care that the children need in every second of their childhoods. No police can dictate foster care parents to care enough to give them the love that they deserve. Most of the cases of abuse within the foster care system are not properly investigated anyway. So, what is the solution, perhaps America needs to start taking family and parenting a little more seriously than they have. After all, it is really the tax payers who will be responsible for the costs and the repercussion created by the state failure operating the foster care system in the end.