BY JESS WISLOSKI
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Thursday, November 8th 2007, 4:00 AM
Investigators are looking into charges that a 5-year-old Queens girl was sexually abused by her foster family even as her birth parents were frantically trying to regain custody.
The girl, who has been in protective custody since Aug. 24, was taken to Kings County Hospital by her foster family Oct. 22. They said she exhibited dangerous behavior.
An emergency room exam revealed swelling and redness of her genitals, as well as whip marks on her back and a gash on her chin, said Jill JonesSoderman, a licensed psychiatric social worker who has been hired by the girl's birth parents to look into the matter.
Jones-Soderman notified police, prompting an investigation.
"There are symptoms of sexual abuse," said Jones-Soderman, who is also a forensic counselor.
The foster family took the girl to the hospital after her foster parents said she had outbursts during which she was "flailing her arms, rocking, and banging her head against the wall," according to records obtained by Jones-Soderman.
That was the fourth court-appointed foster family the girl had stayed with since the city Administration for Children's Services took custody of her about two months ago.
The agency voiced concerns in court that the child's 40-year-old mother may be suffering from Munchausen syndrome by proxy - a rare mental illness in which a parent makes a child sick, or mistakenly believes the child is sick, to get attention.
The mom and her husband said they have been further distressed by an already bleak situation. They are allowed one supervised visit a week.
"It's so hard," the girl's father said. "You can't even believe what you're hearing."
The mother said she noticed bruises and scrapes on the girl's face and body shortly after she was taken into city custody. But she said she did not raise an objection earlier because of the suggestions of Munchausen.
On Monday, the girl was released from the hospital and returned to the foster family, but her mental state has deteriorated, Jones-Soderman said.
She urged the city to speed up its ruling on whether the child can return to her parents.
"A determination as to how dangerous the situation to the child was [at home] is supposed to happen within 72 hours," said Jones-Soderman, referring to what is called a 1028 proceeding.
"It's been nearly three months, and that still hasn't happened," she said.
ACS did not return calls for comment.