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Mother claims child suffered years of abuse in foster care

A woman has spoken out after her child was sent overseas for treatment without her consent — claiming the teenager had suffered years of abuse under foster care.

“What hurts me most is that it was all kept from me,” said the woman, whose child was placed in the care of her paternal family shortly after she was born.

According to assessments provided to The Royal Gazette, the girl developed a host of psychological complaints after alleging a lifetime of bullying, including “emotional abuse within the home”.

Her mother said she felt let down by the system of care offered through Child and Family Services, maintaining that instances of neglect and abuse had been swept under the rug.

The family cannot be identified for legal reasons.

According to a 2002 court order granted as part of her divorce from the father, who lives overseas, a parent’s written approval would be required to send her daughter overseas.

“The Supreme Court said that Child and Family Services overrode the restriction on her travelling, but I signed nothing,” she said.

Child and Family Service refers clients to facilities in the United States for psychological and educational treatment, and an assessment provided to this newspaper shows a range of problematic symptoms, from stuttering to self-harm, suicidal thoughts and “aggressive behaviour”, that were deemed to qualify for intervention.

With limited financial resources, her mother is seeking legal aid to pursue a case against the foster family that she maintains mistreated her daughter.

“It’s hard for me to live knowing what happened to her over all those years, and what she’s been through,” her mother said.

“I feel betrayed because they didn’t tell me. I could have been there for her.”