Kids abused at Oxford foster home win historic $7M Mass. DCF settlement

The settlement is the first of its kind involving the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families and social workers

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WARNING: This story contains information that is graphic in nature and could be disturbing to some.

Four people abused as children at the hands of foster parents in a Massachusetts-licensed foster home decades ago are set to receive $7 million in a settlement with the Department of Children and Families and social workers, their lawyer announced Friday.



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The former foster children had filed a civil lawsuit against the state, social workers and the former foster family in Oxford, Ray and Sue Blouin, alleging that red flags of physical, mental and sexual abuse in the 1990s and 2000s were ignored for years. The Blouins have denied any wrongdoing.

The settlement is the first of its kind involving the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families and social workers.

Investigative reporter Kathy Curran first exposed this case after one of the survivors of the home, John Williams, reached out for help. Williams and his brother, Nathan, were two of the dozens of foster children cycled through the Blouin’s home by DCF.

Foster children were physically and sexually abused, according to the lawsuit, police reports and DCF records. The lawsuit alleges and the police reports and DCF records show children reported they were kept in dog cages, whipped with belts and dog leashes, forced to drink their own urine and tortured. There was even a claim of bestiality and an allegation that one severely disabled child who was nonverbal died from encephalitis after being kept home with a high fever for days.

The suit alleged DCF and social workers ignored multiple reports concerning abuse of the children, failed to protect them and continued to placed children in the Blouins' home.

John Williams told NBC10 Boston Friday that it "is appalling to my mind beyond belief" that children like he and his brother were placed in the Blouins' home after reports of abuse were substantiated by the Department of Children and Families: "Our brotherhood was taken away from us, our sense of selves was taken away from us, our sense of identity was taken away from us, love was taken away from us, a bed was taken away from us, a good night's sleep was taken away from us. The outdoors was taken away from us. A mother was taken away from us. A father was taken away from us. My needing and wanting to love was taken away from us. My privilege of being a child was taken away from us."

Nathan Williams said in a statement that the settlement will help provide the brothers a feeling of security after "daily sadistic torturous punishments, sexual abuse, and psychological abuse and neglect ... because of the indifference of 17 individual department of children and family social workers."

A representative for DCF issued a statement saying, "There is no amount that can remedy the trauma endured by the now adults who lived in the Blouin home nearly 20 years ago. The Department of Children and Families hopes the resolution of this case is a source of strength and comfort to all involved."

The Blouins are also faced with criminal charges of sexually assaulting two of the children, who are part of Friday's settlement. They’ve both entered not guilty pleas; they have declined to comment on the allegations against them.

Attorney Sam Perkins described some of the horror he says foster children allegedly suffered inside the state licensed foster home of Ray and Sue Blouin in Oxford decades ago. He represents four of the survivors who lived with the Blouins in the 1990’s and early 2000’s

Ray Blouin is already a registered sex offender, convicted of abusing two young girls in the home.

The lawsuit that DCF settled also cited that Phil Paquette, who also lived at the home, is accused of raping another child. He has denied the charge.

Susan Blouin was a registered nurse who worked at Umass Memorial Medical Center and St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center but she is no longer employed and the state suspended her license as a result of this case.

The criminal cases and the civil part of the case against Susan and Ray Blouin and Phil Paquette are ongoing.

A representative for Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell acknowledged the settlement in a statement Friday: "In the face of horrific and appalling abuse at the hands of the Blouins, the plaintiffs have exercised immense bravery and resilience in sharing their stories. We hope they will find some measure of closure through this settlement."

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