The foster system is important to many displaced children, and foster families have huge responsibilities on their backs.
Unfortunately, as with all good things, there are some people who misuse and abuse the foster system in order to avail of government funding.
One such cruel foster parent is Lyubov Korotkova, a Russian woman in her 40s from Magadan who was tasked with caring for an 11-year-old orphan boy named Valery Kondourov.
Instead of doing what she was supposed to, she starved the poor child and neglected him for a shocking eight years.
Ironically, before her actions came to light, she was locally known as a hero and a kind, generous soul.
Essentially, Korotkova fostered Valery when he was just three years old and fed him drugs that made him ill.
This led doctors to believe that he had some form of unknown, rare condition, classifying him as disabled.
This allowed Korotkova to claim benefit handouts from her state government to care for him, including ones for sickness and disabilities.
But instead of using them to care for Valery, she spent the money on herself, splurging on luxury items.
Meanwhile, the child received little to no food and his medical condition became worse and worse.
Over the 8-year period, Korotkova has been able to claim £50,000 from the state for Valery’s supposed illnesses and disabilities, as well as the standard assistance funds available for foster parents.
Throughout that entire time, her community hailed her as an amazing person for caring so unconditionally for a child that was not her flesh and blood, especially since he was so ill all the time.
At first, no one could believe these negative reports. Everyone was on her side and couldn’t imagine that she would have ever done such a thing, as her kindness and generosity was practically legendary in the area.
A public campaign even began to demand Valery be returned to his foster mother.
Currently, Valery is receiving urgent medical care due to severe, life-threatening malnutrition that has his body weight at that of a four-year-old, not an 11-year-old.
His height is more akin to a five-year-old’s than someone of his age.
He had been denied food for eight years, just so Korotkova could claim more money from her state government and use them all for herself.
She visited different doctors and asked them to test him for countless different diseases, none of which he was found to have, of course.
Korotkova’s scheming ways were brought to light when a senior doctor became suspicious and was able to examine Valery and determine that nothing was wrong with him, apart from severe malnutrition.
Her actions were unknown to everyone until then, even Andrei, Korotkova’s husbands.
He had helped to care for Valery but was unaware of her abusive criminal plan as she drugged and starved the child, keeping him homeschooled so he would not meet teachers.
Valery is now receiving the care and love he deserves in the home of psychologist Svetlana Suleimanova, who has five of her own children and has also raised eight foster kids.
He confessed to her that he was punished if he did not deny his appetite, and he said she gave him pills that made him throw up.
Korotkova pleaded not guilty, but she has been convicted for her cruelty on the grounds of torture, humiliation, intentional injury to a minor, and child cruelty, and she now has to pay back £50,000 to the state as well as an additional £8,000 to Valery for harm and moral damages.
She is also receiving a six-year prison sentence.