A woman who had been honored among “Foster Parents of the Year” has been charged with abuse.
The Niagara Gazette reports that Kathleen M. Jackson, 50, of the City of North Tonawanda, New York, which is near Buffalo, was arrested on December 19 and faces two charges related to the alleged abuse of a child in her care.
Law enforcement sources told WGRZ that the alleged abuse victim is a 2-year-old boy who was being fostered at Jackson’s home along with his two siblings, ages 1 and 5. The children had reportedly been with Jackson since August, when their mother lost custody due to a complaint regarding unsuitable conditions at her home. Their mother, Katherina Adams, told the news station that she expected the removal would be temporary and very brief, perhaps only a couple of days.
And she said she had been reassured that her children would be in the best of care, as Jackson had been honored as a foster parent of the year just months before.
” …the case worker told us it was to be with a woman that was awarded the number one foster home in May … that I had nothing to worry about and my kids were lucky to go there,” Adams said.
But during supervised visits, Adams said she began to have concerns that her children were not being properly cared for. In one case, she said her 5-year-old son had an infected burn on his wrist, and she also saw what appeared to be indications of abuse to her 2-year-old son.
“He complained that his back hurt, and he had diaper cream from high up on his back all the way down to his ankles,” Adams told the news station.
“It looked very much like someone took a belt to my 2-year-old son and beat him with it.”
Adams and her husband reportedly made a complaint to CPS, which appears to have prompted an investigation.
The Niagara Gazette reports that Jackson was interviewed at the North Tonawanda Police Department headquarters, where she was arrested on December 19. She is reportedly facing charges of second-degree assault of an individual who is less a seven years old, and endangering the welfare of a child.
Jackson is not currently in custody and was not required to post bail, according to the report, though she is no longer listed as an available foster care provider.
According to WGRZ, the 2-year-old boy and one of his siblings have been placed at another foster home, and his eldest sibling is with his biological father. It is not known if any other children remain in Jackson’s home.
CrimeOnline will provide further updates when more information is available.