Texas Baptist Home for Children says it has a mission to protect abused and neglected children. Tell that to Bryan and Austin Cook of Cleburne. They say they were molested by the same 13-year-old boy in one of the Waxahachie foster homes run by the Baptist agency. They say their cries for help were repeatedly ignored and discounted. "We told our caseworkers about it," said Austin, now 13. "We tried to tell Texas Baptist Home manager people, and they wouldn't listen to us." A News 8 investigation has uncovered troubling new information appearing to back up their claims. For more than a year, their mother, Angel Cook, has repeatedly claimed Austin, Bryan, and her oldest son, Justin, were sexually abused by other foster children while in foster care at Texas Baptist Home for Children. An Ellis County grand jury will soon hear a case against the teenager accused of sexually assaulting Justin in another of Texas Baptist's foster homes in Waxahachie. "Nobody listened, and two girls are now rape victims," Angel Cook said. "They will forever have to live with this. You can never erase sexual assault."
The Giwa's are not the kind of parents who come to mind when you think Child Protective Services. “They're well educated they are hardworking people the mom actually has a PHD in special education dad works for an energy company here in Houston" says attorney Jon Parchman. The couple says they know their 19-month-old son is not developing like he should but say they've never gotten a medical reason for his developmental delays and say they've never denied him medical treatment. In court documents CPS admits the reason for the boy's developmental delays are not known but still that state agency is accusing the parents of medical neglect. As for the medical neglect the attorney says CPS's only witness in court was a doctor who never saw the boy or talked to the parents. “The most they really got was the hospital room was a little dirty that was the extent of what they proved in court,” Parchman says. “The judge said so you've proven there's a dirty hospital room that doesn't get us to danger in returning the child home.” Still the judge ruled in CPS's favor granting them temporary custody and only allowing the parents to see their son for one hour twice a week. “It's horrible he's never been without us he's my baby the entire family is a mess because of it we can't function,” Giwa said.
Deanna Robinson-Katsuki is a decorated Air Force Veteran, who once received the Airman’s Medal for helping drag soldiers from a burning plane in Iraq. Yet Deanna recently came under an investigation by Texas Child Protection Services, who arrived at Deanna's parents' home with Sheriff deputies from Hunt County. Deanna is also 9 months pregnant. What followed was partially recorded by a home security camera, which showed Sheriff deputies repeatedly punching her in the stomach, because she did not want them to remove her 18 month old son. The video has gone viral, and has been viewed over 400,000 times already.
In this interview with Angel Cook, she explains how a Texas CPS worker came into their home after the death of one of their adopted children, and misrepresented herself as a police detective, and then accused her of murdering her child, a charge that was later dismissed in a court of law. CPS removed their other 7 children from the home, and they were subsequently mistreated and sexually abused while in Texas foster care. Today, the Cooks have their children back, but they continue to fight against the abuses of Texas CPS and the foster care system. Angel Cook and two of her sons have testified twice before legislative committees about the failings of CPS and the foster care system. Although all charges were dropped against the parents for the death of their adopted son, who was allegedly abused and mistreated prior to coming into the Cook Family's care, Angel Cook is now listed as a Child Abuser and can no longer get a job or visit her children in school. The social workers who knew about the mistreatment and sexual abuse of their children while in foster care remain on their jobs as social workers, and the foster parents who allegedly abused their children are still fostering other children.
Crystal Bentley, 23, entered the Texas foster care system when she was 2 and wouldn’t leave it until she aged out at 18. In the intervening years, as she was shuffled from place to place, she was repeatedly beaten and sexually abused — sometimes by the adults entrusted with her care, sometimes by their biological children, sometimes by other foster kids or her own relatives, Bentley testified in federal court Wednesday. A rotating cast of Child Protective Services caseworkers who were supposed to watch out for her safety often didn’t show up for monthly visits, she said. When they did visit, it was usually for a cursory handful of minutes during which they failed to detect what was happening to her. “I would hint that something was going on, but when they asked me if I was being sexually abused, it was always right there in front of my abusers,” Bentley testified. “What could I say?” Bentley’s testimony Wednesday came on the third day of a trial in a class-action lawsuit brought by Children’s Rights, a New York-based advocacy group on behalf of 12,000 children in long-term state care in Texas.
A tragic story was back in the news this week in Texas. The foster parent of Alex Hill was sentenced to life in prison for the death of the young child who was taken away from her parents' home. Alex Hill was reported to have been taken away from her biological parents because her father admitted to using marijuana at night after the child was in bed. With no evidence of abuse, CPS took custody of the child and placed her into a foster home with Sherill Small. Sherill Small reportedly admitted to police that she had slammed the child onto the floor, saying it was an accident. It was also discovered that Sherill Small’s husband, who lived in the home while the child was there, was himself a recovering crack cocaine addict and admitted to multiple drug charges. So here we appear to have another case where social services removed a child from a loving home with no sign of abuse, and then put the child into an abusive foster home, with the child tragically being murdered.
The Texas mother of a four-month old baby girl writes, "I just want her back home in my arms and love and kiss on her! To hold her and never let go!" But it has been a month now since little Kathryn Blalock was literally taken out of her mother's arms by CPS and the UMC Children's Hospital in Lubbock, Texas, in what appears to be another medical kidnapping. Lorie, the mother of Kathryn, feels as though she is living a nightmare, amidst contradictory information and diagnoses from the doctors. Despite doing everything she could to follow all of the doctors' instructions, her baby was abruptly removed from her custody and is now in medical foster care away from the family who loves her.