17-month-old Kymell Oram has died; little boy hung on for 11 days after brutal beating

Relates to:
Date: 2011-04-04
Source: NYDaily News

BY Rocco Parascandola

Monday, April 4th 2011, 3:06 PM

A Brooklyn foster-care toddler who had been clinging to life after a vicious beating last month has died - and the man accused in the attack could face murder charges, authorities said Monday.

Seventeen-month-old Kymell Oram was rushed to Brookdale Hospital from his East New York home on March 18 after his foster mom's boyfriend beat him, according to police.

The little boy hung on for 11 days before he was declared dead. He was kept on a ventilator so his heart could be harvested, sources said.

He was removed from life support late last week and a subsequent autopsy found he died of lung and blunt force trauma injuries. He also suffered rib fractures and internal bleeding.

The mother's boyfriend, Kysheen Oliver, 19, was charged with second-degree assault and now could face additional charges, sources said.

Born to a drug-addicted mother, Kymell lived in the Cypress Hills Houses with his foster mom, Teyuana Cummings, and two siblings, including a second foster child.

Cummings left Kymell in the care of Oliver on March 18 while she took her other kids to school. When she returned, Kymell had trouble breathing and was rushed to Brookdale.




If the foster mother's boyfriend was 19, how  young was the foster mother??? She had school-aged kids of her own, but still she was either dating a VERY young boy, or she is very young.   Aren't there ANY guidelines being used these days?

" He was kept on a ventilator so his heart could be harvested."  This sounds so gruesome...  Who was there to mourn this child?


Ah, the ol "what is required?" requirement question.....

I DO love this subject, (it's such an important one to discuss), but it's downright disturbing to see, in writing, what is required to obtain a license to foster, and what gets overlooked.

[This has been addressed in various threads within the PPL pages, so feel free to check-out Let's review.... and Let's Review (part 2) ]

In NYC, the requirements to foster seem to be rather lenient.  According to the go-to information resource, Adopt US Kids website, the list is small:

Whether you are single or married, older or younger, renter or homeowner, you may apply to foster and/or adopt a child. You need to be:

  • willing to learn about the unique needs of a child;
  • patient and loving;
  • energetic and giving;
  • able to provide a secure environment; and equipped to meet the needs of a growing child.

You do not need to:

  • have parenting experience;
  • be married;
  • own your own home; or
  • earn a high income.

However, if you go to the NY State page, the requirements read a little more detailed and complex.  Behold the difference in outline and writing:

What are the requirements for certifying and approving foster homes?

Children who are placed in foster boarding homes are subject to standards set by state laws and regulations governing those homes. According to the regulations, a home study must evaluate the prospective foster parent’s ability to address the child’s health and safety. Foster boarding homes must be in compliance with criteria concerning physical condition, safety, resources, character, motivation, and willingness to cooperate with the agency or district in providing services needed and carrying out the permanency plan.

All applicants must complete the forms necessary to determine whether the applicant and any person 18 years of age or older who lives in the house of the applicant is the subject of an indicated child abuse maltreatment report on file with the State Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment (SCR).

The prospective foster home must be evaluated and determined to meet basic physical, health, and safety requirements. Homefinders visit prospective foster parents at home and collect detailed information about the applicants as well as other household members and potential caregivers for the child. In general, prospective foster parents are asked about:

  • Experience with raising children.
  • Experience with issues of child abuse or neglect.
  • Approach to discipline.
  • Awareness of the importance of measures that provide a safe environment for children.
  • Awareness of the potential impact of foster parenting on family members and the family’s current life style.
  • Ability and interest in being a partner in carrying out the permanency plan.


Foster homes are “certified” (the term used for non-relative homes) or “approved” (the term used for relatives) according to the same standards.

A home study and evaluation of the members of the foster family household or the relative’s family household must determine compliance with all of the following criteria for certification or approval:

  • Age: Each foster parent must be over the age of 21.
  • Health: Each member of the household of the foster family must be in good physical and mental health and free from communicable diseases. However, physical handicaps or illness of foster parents or members of their household must be in consideration only as they affect the ability to provide adequate care to foster children or may affect an individual child’s adjustment to the foster family. Cases must be evaluated on an individual basis with assistance of a medical consultant when indicated. A written report from a physician on the health of a family, including a complete physical examination of the applicant, must be filed with the agency initially and biennially thereafter. Additional medical reports must be furnished upon the request of either the agency worker or the foster parent.
  • Employment: Employment of a foster parent outside the home must be permitted when there are suitable plans for the care and supervision of the child at all times, including after school and during the summer. Such plans must be made part of the foster family record and must receive prior agency approval, unless only one of the two foster parents is working outside the home.
  • Marital Status: The marital status of an applicant may be a factor in determining whether or not a certification or approval will be granted only as it affects the ability to provide adequate care to foster children. Changes in marital status must be reported to the authorized agency; existing certificates or letters of approval may be revoked, and new certificates or letters of approval issued consistent with the best interests of the child.
  • Character: Each applicant for certification or approval must be required to provide the agency with the names of three persons who may be contacted for references. The agency must seek signed statements from these individuals attesting to the applicant’s moral character, mature judgment, ability to manage financial resources, and capacity for developing a meaningful relationship with children, or interview the individuals in person.
  • Ability and Motivation: The agency must explore each applicant’s ability to be a foster parent and must discuss the following topics:
    • The reasons a person seeks to become a foster parent.
    • The understanding of the foster parent role, including the responsibilities of foster parents in relation to the child, the agency, and the family.
    • The person’s concerns and questions about foster care services.
    • The person’s psychological readiness to assume responsibility for a child and his/her ability to provide for a child’s physical and emotional needs.
    • The agency’s role and authority to supervise the placement.
    • The attitudes that each person who would be sharing living accommodations with the child in foster care has about foster care and his/her concept of a foster child's role in the family.
    • The awareness of the impact that foster care responsibilities have upon family life, relationships, and current lifestyle.
    • The principles related to the development and discipline of children and the need of each child for guidance, a supportive relationship, appropriate stimulation, and the opportunity to identify with a parent or surrogate whose history reflects a value system that is socially constructive.
    • A person’s self-assessment of his/her capacity to provide a child with a stable and meaningful relationship.

So the question is:  who dropped the ball on THIS case?  [Who was overlooking rules and regulations, and why were they overlooked? ...and what was done about this gross negligence, from a social service agency perspective?]  Hint:  read the rules, and the case very carefully... the answer is right there, and it's downright ridiculous how the rules are written.

Why are boyfriends not part of the monitoring process?

The NY State requirements make an odd statement "Changes in marital status must be reported to the authorized agency...". So apparently changes in marital status need to be reported, but new boy friends are allowed to come and go without any formal oversight. This while there are several cases where the abuser of the child was in fact a new boyfriend authorities were unaware of.

See the following cases:

Warning Labels...

As the adoptive mother of a young man (22) born in Guatemala and adopted at age 3 months, the first thing I saw when reading the 1st  link: Joshua Pinckney, was the resemblance to my son.  People need to put these murders into perspective: these are REAL children, born to a REAL mother and father, who are taken and placed into a home SO unstable that the adoptive parents were not even living together by the time the child is only 2.  That face haunts me...  If the agency that placed this child was forced to place that child's picture and story within their magazine (they all have magazines) of referrals as a WARNING LABEL: CAUTION-adoption has been known to cause death.  How many children could it save?


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