Abuse is a major component of the foster care system. The abuse that some of these suffer will be carried with them throughout their lives. While other foster children manage to work through the trauma of their abuse, some children have been so severely damaged by the abuse they endured. They may never recover, or spend their lives struggling with major issues.
When I first became a foster parent, I could not understand how or even why caseworkers, therapist, etc. did not know what abuse the child suffered or to the extent of the abuse. It is common after accepting a foster placement to believe that the child has suffered more abuse than originally thought when first taken into care. Once the child has been placed into foster care you can start seeing things that may make you question if the child has been sexually abused.
In time the foster child may start feeling somewhat safe and start talking about his life. I have learned snippets of the child’s life and the abuse he suffered as things come up that make him think of things. I believe because that most of these children have lived through their abuse and the life they did not have, it makes it very difficult and sometimes impossible for the children to talk about everything they have endured.
Other times something will trigger the child to remember something and the flood gates open up. While they may tell you parts of their abuse and lives, mostly it is about the intense feelings that it brings up in them.
They tell you small parts of their past because that is what they can deal with at that time in their lives. With my older foster children, I always felt that they struggled with telling me or anyone else because it would cause me or others to think less of them or that they would be seen as unlovable.