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Child Abuse

Abused Children and Foster Care



I know of two occasions of which my ex wife has physically abused my daughter. If I call Child Services do they remove my children and place them into foster homes? I have heard this is their policy and I could not bear to have my three daughters separated. Please help! Thank you.


I can appreciate that this dilemma must be very difficult for you. While I cannot predict exactly what course of action Children`s Services may take, I can help you sort thru some of the different issues. The most important issue, of course, must be the concern for the safety of your daughters. If you have knowledge that abuse has occurred, it is critical that you report that concern to the proper authorities. The result of the investigation will depend on the type of physical abuse, the history from your daughters, and, very importantly, any physical findings. Therefore, your daughters also need a thorough physical examination by a physician. If the outcome of the investigation supports alternative placement of the children for safety reasons, Children`s Services programs will usually look first for safe relative placement on either maternal or paternal sides of the family. If this option is not possible, then foster care may be considered. Generally, one of the goals would be to keep the children together as a unit, particularly if relative placement is a viable option.

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Response by:

Robert Shapiro, MD
Professor of Clinical Pediatrics
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati

Elena Duma, MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati