From the Seattle Post-Intelligence paper comes this article:
Last updated September 24, 2007 9:09 p.m. PTWhere the hell was the social worker? After repeated complaints filed from people at the school the girl attended, why did the social worker continue to take the word of the foster mother (yup - lower case, this woman does not deserve the respect that comes with the capital M)?
By SCOTT GUTIERREZ
A Federal Way woman who punished her foster daughter by jabbing hypodermic needles into the girl's eyes and smashing her feet with 10-pound weights pleaded guilty Monday to assault charges and could face up to 14 years imprisonment.
Chornice Y. Kabbelliyaa, 34, a licensed foster care provider who tortured the girl for years, is scheduled for sentencing Nov. 16 at the Regional Justice Center in Kent. Kabbelliyaa took in the victim, now 16, and her brother, when the girl was 5, according to court records.
Kabbelliyaa pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree assault, plus two counts of second-degree assault. Prosecutors will pursue the longest possible prison term under sentencing guidelines, which ranges from 10 to 14 years, King County Prosecutor's Office spokesman Dan Donohoe said.
For years, Kabbelliyaa, who also goes by Lewis, was the focus of complaints from teachers, counselors and others about the girl's well-being, giving social workers several chances to remove her from the home. In a story earlier this year, The News Tribune in Tacoma revealed how Department of Social and Health Services workers often took Kabbelliyaa at her word when investigating complaints and gave her the benefit of the doubt because of the reported family connection between her and the victim. Kabbelliyaa claimed the victim also was her cousin.
The agency reviewed its own handling of the case and retrained or reassigned some workers as a result, according to the newspaper.
But, inside her home, Kabbelliyaa once beat the girl with an umbrella for handing her a mismatched pair of flip-flops. Doctors examined the victim and found she had no vision in her right eye and puncture wounds to her left eye, caused by needles used to treat Kabbelliyaa's mother's diabetes. The girl's tongue was burned because the defendant had heated forks on a stovetop to stick into the girl's mouth, court documents say.
After some beatings, Kabbelliyaa would forbid the girl from attending school until her injuries healed, court documents say.
It wasn't until January 2006 that authorities removed the girl from Kabbelliyaa's apartment. At first, Kabbelliyaa denied the girl was home, but social workers with DSHS' Division of Licensed Resources and a police officer sent to investigate noticed a blanket on the floor move. They lifted the blanket and found the victim hidden underneath, court records say.
Kabbelliyaa ran from the building, fleeing with her three biological children. She was arrested a month later in Houston by a fugitive task force under the U.S. Marshals Service. A judge determined earlier this year that Kabbelliyaa was competent to stand trial after her mental health was evaluated at Western State Hospital.
She is being held in the King County Jail with bail set at $1 million.
First off, the social worker should be fired and then lose her license. Secondly, she should be brought up with charges - I am sure there are some laws on the books that relate to her negligence in this matter.
If more of these "lax" social workers had to face charges for their misdeeds, I think they would start taking their jobs more seriously.
I am fully aware that they are spread thin and have an overload of cases. But I think they should all band together - perhaps a union would be the right word - and let it be know that they will handle on the number of cases that they can and do their job correctly. Then the Department of Social Services would have to sit up and take notice that the will have to hire more people for the appropriate coverage.
Would it make sense to keep adding more and more students in a classroom to avoid having to hire more teachers? No - the teacher's union won't allow it. They have a limit as to how many students can be in a classroom. I assume that each state is different. Here in California, the max for 4th - 12th grades is 32 and K-3 is 20.
I think that there should be a maximum number of cases allowed per social worker so they would be able to do their jobs right and avoid cases such as these occuring.
Being a foster child must be an absolute nightmare.
I guess they license just any ol' body as long as they are breathing. Sure, they have to pass an inhome inspection. Anybody can pass that and then once licensed, do as they will just to be able to collect the almight $$$ without having to lift a finger to do anything for it.
My niece was a foster parent (still holds her license). She has cared for many children (she taught kindergarten students) with nothing but love and nurturing. She eventually adopted two of her foster children. Currently she has put on hold to do any more fostering until her children are a little older, as she is a single parent.
When will these States/Counties/Cities get their heads out of their backsides and see the rampant victimization of our most vunerable resources - those whose own home has been torn asunder for whatever reason and who have been left to the devices of the State/local governments to decide their fates. Unfortunately, that fate often times leads to death.
I have seen many children in foster care. They are sad, lonely, confused, desolate and often times rebellious and violent. Gee, I wonder what could have possibly led to this?