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New Times: Boy Sues Community Firms, State Agency for Failing to Vet Foster Parent

For want of a criminal and personal background check, a young child was allegedly sexually abused by a foster parent after being placed in the man’s care by contracted providers, welfare providers Kids in Distress Inc. and ChildNet Inc. The two companies were hired by the Florida Department of Children and Families to vet foster parents and place children. Instead, all three – as well as the foster parent, whom the child claims sexually abused him.

“According to the lawsuit, the child — identified only as R.S. — claims 56-year-old John Michael McGuigan of Broward County sexually abused him while the child was under his care. But the lawsuit says there were multiple glaring red flags the agencies failed to see when McGuigan applied to become a Florida foster parent in 2008,” writes Broward New Times.

Had the organizations done the proper background checks, they would have discovered a man who never disclosed that he had been investigated for showing a minor a pornographic photo and asking that minor to perform sex acts, the lawsuit claims. The man also never reported to authorities or the organizations that he had been cited for cocaine possession.

South Florida residents also should be familiar with another foster child who once had been in McGuigan’s care. Gabriel Myers, a young boy who was given a strong regimen of psychotropic drugs to calm his behavior, in 2009 hanged himself. It was a month after he was removed, at McGuigan’s request, from the man’s foster care.

Read the New Times story here.

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