Local News

Foster Child's Chances of Recovery Slim

Posted January 9, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— The family of a 4-year-old who was assaulted in a foster home says her condition has improved somewhat, but that the child has been given a 50 percent chance of survival and just a 10 percent chance of a full recovery.

Jennifer Babcock was thrown by her foster parents' 13-year-old daughter, allegedly because she was in the bathroom too long. The 4-year-old has been in a coma since the assault.

Jennifer's parents say they thought the reason Jennifer was in a foster home was so that she would be well cared for. Her mother, Ann Babcock, says she can't understand how anyone could hurt the child.

Jennifer's father, Kevin Babcock, says it's all very confusing.

The Babcocks admit that, as parents, they made mistakes which led to their losing custody of three children. The children first went to live with their grandparents, but a brawl outside the grandparents' house prompted social services to put the children into foster care one month ago.

Jennifer has behavioral problems, so she went to a home chosen by mental health workers. Lester Babcock, the grandfather with whom Jennifer lived for a while, says he was assured the home would be the right place for his grandchild.

The Babcocks believe Jennifer was repeatedly abused at the foster home. Kevin Babcock say she has bruises all over her body.

One official confirmed that there are some old bruises but it is unclear how and when they got there.

The foster family could not be reached for comment. Neither social services nor mental health authorities are permitted to comment because of confidentiality laws.

Therapeutic foster homes such as the one Jennifer was in, are licensed and accredited by the state and must meet stricter guidelines than other foster homes.