False Abuse Allegations

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More of this Feature
Part 1: Why False Allegations Occur
Part 2: Checklist for Parents
Part 3: Internet Resources

Part 1: Why False Allegations Occur

by Rita Laws, Ph.D.
© 2002, Reprinted by permission

The first version of this checklist appeared in the book: "Adopting and Advocating for the Special Needs Child," by L. Anne Babb and Rita Laws (Greenwood Press). This list is not complete, but meant to be a starting point.

"The best interests of a child" is a phrase that has been defined by the federal government as "safety first." Too many children in America are not safe. Child abuse is real. Real child abuse is under-reported. Child abuse is a deadly evil.

Child abuse is also sometimes mis-reported. In fact, one-third to half of all reports may end up as unfounded.

Being accused of child abuse when you are innocent is a nightmare that many cannot comprehend who have not lived it. False abuse allegation is a life-shattering catastrophe. And it happens to foster and adoptive parents all the time.

Why? Because many of the kids they care for have emotional, mental and behavioral problems. Some of them will use false abuse accusations as a weapon or a tool to get their way. A few are just trying to get attention. Since some of them have been abused in the past by former caregivers, the details of their accusations can sound very convincing.

Next page > What You Can Do: A Checklist > Page 1, 2, 3

Visitor Comments (7)
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Beth - 9 months ago
0 0 1
After 13 years of fostering high risk teen girls, I was accused of abusing a girl that I had spent the day with, shopped with, had a wonderful day with, but decided at bedtime, she wanted to switch beds. Although I had two of my four foster girls home, along with my husband, and mother, and the entire conversation lasted less than five minutes, she ran away the following night. DHS had "forgot" to let me know she had done this to three previous homes, her own counselor called and told me how sorry she was being put through this, etc. CPS, made my life a nightmare. Almost two years, and I will never forget the week we went through, waiting for an "unable to be determined." It is better if you can believe it, to actually be found, "guilty." Although I have 30 years in education, take excellent and loving care of these girls, my life was shattered as well as my own biological child, and the other girls. I despise CPS which is sad. He actually enjoyed the agony he caused us. #1
Guest 2 - 1 month ago
I am considering adoption but I am terrified after reading the comments below. I am a teacher and have plenty of experience working with children with special needs but I need advise as to whether I should move on with my decision to adopt. My husband and I have a wonderful 10-year old girl who will be a perfect big sister to a child in need of a family. #2
Patrick - 10 months ago
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so knowing that most of the adopted children are returned back to the system. What can be done to avoid that from happening how can I help from a mom that will not eat everything that's being said I will make it a duty with rights to seek help for both parties. I walked away because of my treatment I was being treated like the child and said, "this is not happening he did not want to leave that's why he is acting out." So in this case special caring therapy was needed not and extraction. Parents dealing with something like this need some kind of authority in there own home. #3
Marie - 10 months ago
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Steve - 2 years ago
2 0 2
I was accused of abuse while we were foster parents. The foster child claimed that i abused him in the way he was abused by a family member. The state never came to the house to see if i had abused this child the way he said but, they believed him over me. There was no proof but, they said i did anyway. My wife and i want to adop and i looks like the state is going to give us a hard time so we can't adopt. This truly sucks. How can the state get away with this without seeing the site of the said abuse? #5
Amanda - 2 years ago
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This is my greatest fear. We consider adoption but then we get scared and just have a hard time potentially risking our family. We would love to provide a good home for children to show them how a child should be loved and cared for but how can I put my children and husband in a position they must always be on guard for? The child deserves better but Steve is the best example of how things are not correctly handled. #6
Guest - 1 year ago
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ihave huge problem with where myson is with reopen closed cased naia morgan kirk morgan #7
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