LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. —
No changes to the foster care system are expected despite a 3-year-old girl being near death, her foster father behind bars and a state investigation.
Taken from her birth mother because she did not have a safe home of her own, 3-year-old Belle came to a home in Reinholds to live with 23-year-old Joshua Martin and his wife. They had been foster parents for two years.
Court papers show between Sept. 21 and 23, Martin got annoyed with Belle because she was throwing up. The documents said he admitted to getting rough with the 3-year-old, hitting her head on a wooden door frame and punching her in the face.
Belle is on life support at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.
Lancaster County Human Service Director Jim Laughman talked about the foster family on Tuesday.
"Everything came back crystal clear on the family. They had great references, everybody spoke very positively about them," Laughman said.
The county said it puts potential parents through state and federal background checks, does orientations, trainings, interviews and monthly home visits.
"There was no indication that there was any problem," Laughman said.
He said the county is looking into the problem, but it doesn't plan to make any changes right now.
"The reality may be we may never find a reason why. Sometimes people make bad choices and they snap," Laughman said.
Belle's mother said she is afraid someone else may snap. She is fighting to get her other two children out of foster care, even though they are no longer in the care of the Martins