A suspicion of abuse in a group home should cause you to take immediate action. Your loved ones could be unable to speak up for themselves and demand the rights they deserve under Maryland law.
If you have questions about abuse and neglect in a Maryland group home, we’re here to help. Below, the team at Zirkin & Schmerling Law answers common questions about group home abuse and how to take legal action.
If you have additional questions or need insight into your unique situation, please call us 24/7 at 410-753-4611 or schedule your free consultation online.
Maryland Group Home Abuse FAQ
When a group home fails to provide a safe and nurturing environment for your child, it’s a violation of their trust and their rights. You can stand up for your child by making a report to the proper authorities, starting legal action, and holding a group home accountable for its neglect, abuse, and failures to meet the legal standard of care.
Don’t wait. Take action quickly to improve a vulnerable child’s life and protect them from further harm. Your actions may prevent harm to other children too.
Start preserving any evidence you encounter through photos, videos, and paperwork. Discuss your concerns with a qualified Maryland group home lawyer who has extensive experience handling these types of cases.
Maryland has an official list of children’s rights in group homes outlined in the state’s Bill of Rights for Maryland’s Children and Youth in Children’s Residential Facilities. It establishes that every child has the right to be treated with dignity, respect, and fairness in group home settings.
This means a child is entitled to appropriate caretaking and guidance from group home staff, plus freedom from abuse and neglect including physical, emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse. Children in group homes are also entitled to regular family visits.
It’s difficult to predict the value of your case in advance, but its value is generally built upon the provable damages that arose from the specific abuse involved. This may include ambulance and surgery costs, doctor’s bills, and therapy visits that were required due to the abuse, plus damages for the injured person’s pain and suffering.
Maryland’s courts tend to take cases of group home neglect and abuse very seriously. In some cases, the court will award punitive damages when a group home does something so egregious that the court wants to compensate the family for the tragedy and send a warning to other group homes in Maryland.
Maryland’s Place Matters Initiative is intended to maintain strong bonds between families and children while the children are in group home settings. This means, among other things, that there is an emphasis on having children in group home settings for the minimum time necessary and maximizing the time a child spends with their family.
The Place Matters Initiative is reliably producing positive outcomes for children in Maryland. If you suspect that a group home is working in a manner that is contrary to the Place Matters Initiative, seek the input of an experienced group home abuse attorney.
Abuse in a group home is a horrifying situation that sparks strong emotions, especially in the parents of abused children. It’s also a situation that most people have almost no experience with until the moment it happens.
If you’re feeling confused, sad, angry, and fearful about how to handle group home abuse, the professionals at Zirkin & Schmerling Law understand your dilemma and we’re here to help. By hiring a group home abuse attorney, you’re bringing a skilled professional into the situation so we can shed light on what happened and place the blame where it belongs.
Your attorney can help you monitor your loved one’s health and safety, holding the group home responsible for providing the legal standard of care. When you must seek compensation for the costs of injuries, abuse, and neglect, your attorney is by your side helping you achieve success.
If your loved one is in a group home, you can only hope that the facility will truly provide the appropriate standard of care. The state of Maryland sets these standards through a strict set of group home licensing and monitoring policies.
Numerous agencies oversee group homes, mostly under the umbrella of the Maryland Office of Licensing and Monitoring (OLM). The OLM is responsible for ensuring group homes meet state and federal guidelines and licenses/monitors residential child care programs (RCCP) and child placement agencies (CPA) as out-of-home care providers. You can report violations by contacting the OLM at 1-800-332-6347 or notifying your group home abuse lawyer.
Group home abuse cases can be very complex and you’ll need input from a Maryland group home abuse lawyer who is experienced enough to understand the details and nuances of these cases. Whether or not you have a case will likely come down to whether the group home violated the person’s rights, what types of damages you can prove, and how skillfully you can work with the parties involved to negotiate compensation.
The team at Zirkin & Schmerling Law has been handling group home abuse cases for decades and has a track record of securing much-needed compensation for Maryland families. For more insight into your situation, please call us 24/7 at 410-753-4611 or schedule your free consultation online.
Have a Legal Question? We Have Answers
When you need to learn more about your rights, the attorneys at Zirkin & Schmerling Law can help. Contact us or call us at (410) 753-4611 to set up an appointment with one of our experienced group home abuse lawyers today.