Foster parent accused of sexually assaulting four foster children
A former foster parent and a retired Omaha firefighter is charged with his fourth sexual assault of a child offense. This all came to light after a 15 year-old girl came forward with her story to investigators at Project Harmony.
Police said the first incident happened when the victim was just 9-years-old. Earlier this month, she told her story to investigators. She said she was assaulted twice by Lee Dunbar the first time back in March of 2011 and then again in January of 2013.
Dunbar was the girl's foster father, at the time. He's already behind bars facing three other similar charges.
It's due to situations like this that an assessment process exists within the foster care system.
"Our recruitment specialist goes out and meets with that family in their home, tells them a little bit about our philosophy and beliefs about foster care, we learn a little bit about their motivation," said Nebraska Children's Home Society Michelle Moline.
Moline with Nebraska Children's Home Society one of several foster care agencies in the metro has never experienced the arrest within one of their own foster families but it still hits home.
Her team takes the necessary steps like specialized training to make sure this kind of thing never happens but it can. After all, these agencies are assessing people.
"Just like any other populations of people, foster parents come with different strengths and challenges, and there are times when even with the most thorough assessment, that families do fall through the cracks or do not function in ways that after the assessment we believe that they would,” said Moline.
And that's when many agencies often take a step back and ask themselves, are we doing enough?
"Especially when these situations happen, I think it makes us all really look at that and think, 'Are there some things that we need to be evaluating and changing,” Moline said.
Michelle said it is critical that families within the foster care system have the right intention.