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County Settles Sexual Abuse Claims with Twins in Foster Care

The county will finally compensate twin brothers who were placed with a foster father who admitted to sexually abusing them.

The victims said they hope this will not happen to anyone again.

The settlement approved by the County Board of Supervisors in August but was finalized by all parties this week.

Shawn McMillan, the victims’ attorney said caseworkers were made aware of accusations of abuse by the twins’ foster father, Michael Hayes, but didn’t pursue them further.

“You look a little deeper and the reason the allegations were found inconclusive was because the investigator made one attempt to make contact, couldn’t make contact and just [circular filed],” he said.

McMillan says his clients are ready to put this episode of their lives behind them but believes there could be more victims since Hayes fostered other children.

“What happened to these children, even this perpetrator, Michael Hayes, there were other kids that went through his home, and they’re out there,” he said.

The hope for the victims is that the county will make changes.

“This is our most vulnerable population, this is our future,” McMillan said. “You gotta treat ’em like that. They’re valuable. And that’s what my clients would really like to see is some systemic change to make sure what happened to them, doesn’t ever happen again.”

The two victims are now adults.

McMillan said he hopes Child Welfare Services will provide them the services and support they need in the next few years before they officially exit the system.

After voting to pay the settlement, County Supervisors Greg Cox and Ron Roberts decided to form a working group who will review the Child Welfare System to ensure the health and safety of youth in foster care.

They are scheduled to provide a full report by November and recommendations to the Board of Supervisors by December.

Source: NBC San Diego

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