Saturday, December 8, 2007

Abusive foster mother gets 14 years in prison

Before I bring you this article - I have to say -


The systematic abuse of innocent children NEEDS TO STOP!

Child "Protective" services around the country is doing anything BUT PROTECTING OUR CHILDREN!

And now I bring you the story..



KENT -- She stabbed her foster daughter's eyes with hypodermic needles, scorched her tongue with a stove-heated fork and dropped 10-pound weights on her feet.

Chornice Kabbelliyaa attributed her horrific behavior to severe mental illness, childhood sexual abuse and depression.

Her longtime victim -- Kabbelliyaa's cousin -- forgave her in court Friday, even as she pointed out that her relative, in custody for nearly two years, was "locked up and shackled -- exactly how I felt, once upon a time."

Judge James Cayce sentenced Kabbelliyaa to 14 years in prison Friday during a hearing at the Regional Justice Center in Kent, saying he doubted the mental assessment of the former foster parent conducted at Western State Hospital.

He noted that Kabbelliyaa, 34, who also goes by the last name of Lewis, had not committed similar atrocities on her own children and supposedly had not been found mentally unstable until she was incarcerated.

In September, Kabbelliyaa pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree assault and two counts of second-degree assault.

Kabbelliyaa repeatedly offered her "deepest apologies" and said she was "not making excuses."

Her victim, whose words were read in court, accused her cousin of greed and said "the state was so blind to your deceit."

A state review of the case released earlier this year found "a system breakdown involving all stakeholders" -- the Department of Social and Health Services, the court system, the court-appointed special advocate program and service providers.

Because Kabbelliyaa said she was related to the victim, DSHS and others involved gave less oversight to the case and offered less protection to the girl. School authorities reported concerns about the girl's injuries and said her explanations and stories seemed scripted.

The girl felt that "what would happen at home would only get worse" if she spoke out, a prosecutor said in court.

But DSHS workers often gave the foster parent, described as combative and intimidating, the benefit of the doubt in investigating complaints, holding her less accountable than a non-relative caregiver.

The girl was not removed from Kabbelliyaa's apartment until January 2006. She had lost vision in her right eye and had puncture wounds in her left eye caused by hypodermic needles used to treat Kabbelliyaa's mother's diabetes.

Court documents also say that Kabbelliyaa heated forks on a stove and stuck them in the girl's mouth. Kabbelliyaa insisted to social workers and others that it was the girl who was out of control, not her. The girl and her three siblings had become dependents of the state in 1996 after their mother allegedly abused, neglected and exploited some of them. They were then placed with Kabbelliyaa. By 2000, a pattern of allegations of abuse, neglect and licensing violations emerged against Kabbelliyaa, though DSHS repeatedly relicensed her foster home.

The state review listed 26 recommendations for DSHS and other parties as a result of shortcomings in the case, such as requiring documented verification of information provided by caregivers, including claims of blood relationships; training on working with difficult clients; regular school visits; and comprehensive medical examinations of foster children within 30 days of placement, with consistent follow-up care by the same physician.

Many of the recommendations were already under consideration before the review, said Sharon Gilbert, deputy director of field operations in Children's Administration in DSHS.

"One of the things we recognized was we definitely didn't do some of the things we needed to be done," she said. "One of the things that stood out was (a) pattern (of abuse and neglect) recognition. We relied heavily on child interviews. Children don't always tell us what's happening."

The training social workers have received should "cause them to be more skeptical if they're getting different stories from children or caregivers," Gilbert said.

The agency previously had foster home licensors conduct investigations of homes for licensing violations, such as when a caregiver moves out of state without telling DSHS, as occurred in the Kabbelliyaa case. Now Child Protective Service investigators will look into those licensing violations, as well as allegations of abuse and neglect, Gilbert said.

No disciplinary action was taken against DSHS employees in the case, spokeswoman Karen Lee said.

She said one worker involved in the case retired in 2004 and another, a foster home licensor, was retrained.

P-I reporter John Iwasaki can be reached at 206-448-8096 or .

Original Article- and comments= Abusive foster mother gets 14 years in prison

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