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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    WA~Sandra & Jeffrey Weller arrested for starving & beating twin teens

    Once again, starvation has nothing to do with a family's poverty but everything to do with cruelty. How sad that the neighbors didn't call. They suspected. Make the call!! And again, we have children adopted as toddlers who were scapegoated and isolated by parents obviously not bonded to the children. It seems that there's a playbook out there which I wish could be destroyed. The MO always follows an identical pattern.


    Vancouver couple accused of beating teenage twins, confining them to room without electricity
    October 19, 2011

    "Neighbors suspected something was amiss in the olive green split-level house in a snug cul-de-sac in Vancouver's North Hearthwood community. They were awakened by late-night shouting matches at the house of 41-year-old Jeffrey and 48-year-old Sandra Weller. Neighbors complained that the parents loudly berated several young members of their blended family. Occasionally, they telephoned police and discussed calling child welfare workers to intervene on behalf of the six children...."


    "...the Wellers were charged with child abuse and neglect for allegedly beating their 16-year-old twins with a long wooden stick, confining them in a room with no doorknob or electricity and withholding food...."


    The Wellers are scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 27 on second-degree assault, unlawful imprisonment and third-degree criminal mistreatment charges. Jeffrey Weller also faces charges of strangling his 16-year-old stepdaughter and beating her with a 42-inch rod, Vancouver police said. It was the 16-year-old girl who slipped a note to an authority figure about the alleged abuse..."


    "...That note launched the ninth child welfare investigation into reports of abuse and neglect of the Weller children. After previous reports, the children recanted their stories..."


    "...The pair described being forced to "steal" food in the house -- and the punishment that followed when they were caught. "As a 'punishment' both are made to lie on the kitchen floor with no pants or underwear covering them and are struck on their buttock region repeatedly with a wooden stick, often making them bleed," the court documents said. Their stepfather administered the weekly beatings while their mother watched..."


    "....police describe a household where the twins were isolated from family members, restricted from touching their parents or siblings and prohibited from using the common eating utensils. The interior doorknob of the their bedroom was removed, the window was locked and an alarm was rigged to go off if they tried to leave the room. The twins, who were home schooled, were not permitted to leave their room except for chores and occasionally to eat. There was no electricity inside the room; the fuses to the outlets had been removed and there were no working lights..."

    more at link

    Sadly, I'm reminded of Jeanette Maples, the Trebilcock children and the recent case of Hana Williams death.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Just my opinions (and I have been wrong before)!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    I spent a good part of my life advocating for appropriate services and stipends for children who are adopted from the US foster care system. However, I'm very concerned that I know just what happened here. These teens were twins and came from the CA foster care system. Just making a wild guess--they have some special needs. They were placed as toddlers. Something caused them to enter foster care. Possibly they were born a bit early or with drugs in their system. Just the fact that they are siblings makes them harder to place. They also might be children of color. All these factors are eligibility criteria connected to the IV-E Adoption Assistance Program governed by the Child Welfare Act of 1980.

    By all accounts, they must have been adopted about 12-13 years ago--in the late 90s. CA adoption assistance rates were quite generous then. I should know as I'd worked my bunnies off in Sacramento from 1992 onward to get them there. If these two children also qualified for Regional Center Services (due to any delays or certain diagnoses), their stipend could be considered quite substantial. Studies show that even at the higher rates, taxpayers save 7 times over what it costs to keep the children in foster care, when they are placed permanently for adoption. If they were Regional Center clients they not only would have qualified for a higher adoption assistance rate but a host of wraparound services--specialized respite, in home health assistance, social trainers, case management, and training for their parents. That's a lot to help support a family and to facilitate success.

    Now, have that family break up and have the kids move to a state where they are no longer seen by known doctors and therapists. Keep them at home for schooling and isolate them. Make them the scapegoat of the other siblings. Punish them for challenging behaviors, common to children adopted from the system--defiance, sneaking, gorging, hoarding--rather then getting them therapy for these upsetting issues. Watch them spin out of control but darned if the parents can even consider getting help as that means they might lose their stipends which help pay the monthly bills. A deadly cycle begins.

    Even if they started out with some difficult behaviors, nothing excuses the mistakes this set of parents made. Nothing excuses the fact that the neighbors stood by, knowing that something wasn't right. Look at that home. It's lovely and spacious. Inside it, however, two teens were starving and being beaten.

    We have lots of work to do.

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