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Foster Child's Chances of Recovery Slim

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FAYETTEVILLE — The family of a 4-year-old who wasassaulted in a foster home says her condition has improved somewhat, butthat the child has been given a 50 percent chance of survival andjust a 10 percent chance of a full recovery.

Jennifer Babcock was thrown by her foster parents' 13-year-olddaughter, allegedly because she was in the bathroom too long. The4-year-old has been in a coma since the assault.

Jennifer's parents say they thought the reason Jennifer was in a fosterhome 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 totheir losing custody of three children. The children first went to livewith their grandparents, but a brawl outside the grandparents' houseprompted social services to put the children into foster care one monthago.

Jennifer has behavioral problems, so she went to a home chosen bymental health workers. Lester Babcock, the grandfather with whom Jenniferlived for a while, says he was assured the home would be the right placefor 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 isunclear how and when they got there.

The foster family could not be reached for comment. Neither socialservices nor mental health authorities are permitted to comment because ofconfidentiality laws.

Therapeutic foster homes such as the oneJennifer was in, are licensed and accredited by the state and must meetstricter guidelines than other foster homes.

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