Clergy Sexual Abuse: Proposed New York Legislation, a Follow Up

Clergy Sexual Abuse Legislation in New York
It now appears as if the New York State legislature will not be passing legislation that would extend the Statute of Limitations for bringing a lawsuit for victims of sexual abuse. Currently a person has until the age of twenty-three to bring a lawsuit. The new legislation would have extended it to age twenty-eight and would have given everyone, regardless of age, one year from the enactment of the law to bring such a lawsuit.

When the complexion of the New York State Senate changed from Republican to Democrat, it was widely expected to join the State Assembly in passing this law. It now appears that when the law seemed to have a real chance of passing, pressure by the Catholic Church convinced many legislators, previous sponsors of the legislation among them (!!), to oppose the bill. The position of the church was that it would bankrupt the church, as it had apparently done previously to the Diocese of San Diego, after California passed a similar bill.

The sponsor of the legislation has vowed to pursue the passage of the bill and believes it still has a real chance of eventual passage, sooner rather than later.


Foster Care Abuse

It is a sad fact that so many of the children in the foster care system are victims of physical and sexual abuse.  Children who are in the foster care system are there in the first place because they either have no parents, or their natural parents have failed them.  These children are probably the most vulnerable members of our society and in the greatest need of our care and protection. It is, therefore, that much more of a tragedy when such a child is abused in a foster home.  The government places the responsibility of caring for these children in the hands of the Foster Care Agencies.  The Foster Care Agency then finds an appropriate foster home for the child and places them there to live temporarily, until the child can move on; either moving back with the natural parent, getting adopted, etc. It is the responsibility of the Foster Care Agency to make sure the home the child is placed in is suitable and safe, and that the foster parents are people who will treat the children appropriately.  It is also the responsibility of the Foster Care Agency to closely monitor the children while they remain in the foster home.  This is no easy task, but it is crucial for the wellbeing of the foster child. After all, if there is something improper going on in the home there is nobody else in the world who that child can turn to for help; there is no one else who is responsible for that child other than the Foster Care Agency.  Once the abuse does take place, of course the effects of that abuse usually stay with the victim for a lifetime. For any person who was the victim of abuse in a foster home, even if the abuse took place many years ago, it is important to contact an attorney who represents abuse victims and can investigate whether the Foster Care Agency conducted a proper placement in the home and properly supervised the parents and the child while in the home.

Statements by Adam Orlow, Esq. as quoted in “Suite 101 On-line Magazine:
Abuse in foster homes is a serious problem. Adam Orlow, Esq., is a New York City attorney who has almost five years of experience helping former foster children seek compensation. He passionately believes that when children are placed into care, they need a foster home that is adequate and safe. He says that the screening process for foster parents must be tighter.

Adam Orlow further stated, “Case workers need greater supervision, preferably by an independent body.” He also recommends that in addition to closely monitoring the case workers, having the workers conduct unscheduled visits to foster homes is essential. Orlow adds, “Too many times there is a lack of supervision.” Read more…

Posted by New York Personal Injury Attorney Adam Orlow