Children Raped by Foster Parent In Washington

In Babcock v. Department of Soc. & Health Servs., 116 Wn.2d 596, 809 P.2d 143 (1991), several children were raped by their foster parent. Id. at 598. The children's paternal grandparents, father, and the children themselves filed a negligent placement suit against the State, alleging that DSHS failed to adequately investigate the backgrounds of the prospective foster parents. Id. at 604. The specific holding of Babcock dealt with immunity, but the case recognized that the gravamen of the plaintiff's claim was "negligent investigation." Id. at 610. The Court held that the State did not enjoy immunity for the negligent investigation of its caseworkers and allowed the lawsuit to proceed, including the claims brought by the paternal grand-parents and father of the foster children. Id. at 622.