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• Can a church and church officials be legally responsible for fatal injuries inflicted on a child by a foster parent selected by the church? That was the issue before a Georgia court in a recent case. The child, who was a mentally-retarded eleven-year-old, was left with the church by her natural parents when they moved to Hawaii. The church had difficulty locating a foster family, and was forced to place the child with a family that had received no training in foster parenting and no orientation or guidance regarding the needs of a mentally-retarded child. The foster father soon determined that the child "needed to be disciplined." One evening, he slapped her and "pushed her head into the floor." After the child stopped breathing, the foster parents rushed her to a hospital emergency room where the child died following surgery. The surgeon testified that the child died of a blood clot ...

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  • March 1, 1990

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