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Dozens of families separated at the border who say their young children were sexually, physically or emotionally abused in federally-funded foster care are preparing to sue the US government.
The families - some in the US, others already deported to Central America - are making claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), which allows individuals who suffer harm as a direct result of federal employees to sue the government.
Guatemalan - Girl - Boy - Chest - Foster
One five-year-old Guatemalan girl said a boy grabbed her chest in a foster care home and an eight-year-old Guatemalan boy said he was also sexually molested in foster care.
A review of 38 legal claims obtained by The Associated Press shows taxpayers could be on the hook for more than $200 million in damages.
Children - Parents - Border - Years - Lawsuits
More than 3,000 migrant children were taken from their parents at the border in recent years and many more lawsuits are expected, potentially totaling in the billions.
Last year, the Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement - the agency responsible for the care of migrant children - cared for nearly 50,000 children who crossed the border by themselves.
Office - Children - Families - Trump - Administration
The office also cared for children who were separated from their families under the Trump Administration's zero tolerance policy.
Children, from babies to teens, were housed in foster programs, residential shelters and detention camps around the country.
Agency - Placements - Arrivals
Sometimes, the agency made daily placements of as many as 500 new arrivals.
The allegations of abuse and assaults in foster care raise fresh questions about the government's efforts to place younger children with families in lieu of larger shelters and packed detention facilities.
Claims - Children - Trauma - Children - Care
The legal claims allege that children have suffered serious emotional trauma after being physically harmed or fondled by other children while in foster care.
One Guatemalan mother whose five-year-old daughter was placed in Cayuga Centers in New York, the largest foster care placement...
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