Maryland foster care violence detailed in agency records

Handful of cases among thousands of homes show challenges for families

The boy did not want to take a shower. After being asked to wash up, the 10-year-old began throwing glass cookware in the kitchen, turned on the stove and started a small fire, according to state records. His foster father wound up in the hospital with chest pains.

The violent incident in Wicomico County was one of several detailed in documents obtained by The Baltimore Sun as it investigated foster home violence that gained increased attention after a 2-year-old’s death this summer.

The Sun requested last year’s incident reports for homes under the watch of the state’s three largest social services agencies. The files offer a glimpse into the challenges faced by families who take in children from troubled homes.

The state Department of Human Resources could not immediately provide additional information on the number of violent incidents in foster homes across the state or among the three largest providers