Author: GORDON OLIVER - of the Oregonian Staff
A Washington County Juvenile Court judge ruled Friday that the Children's Services Division should try to return some of Sherry Scott's 13 children to her within three months.
Scott, who had hoped that some children would be returned to her care immediately, left Judge Gayle Nachtigal's courtroom in tears. She said she didn't know when she would get back any of the biological and adopted children who have been in state foster care since February.
``I'll believe it when I see it,'' said Scott, who now lives near Forest Grove. ``I don't have a lot of belief anymore.'' She said she would work to satisfy CSD's concerns, but admitted that she was ``worn out'' from her efforts so far.
The state removed 27 children from the former Scott home in Cornelius in February on allegations that the children had been poorly supervised, the home was unsanitary, and that some of the children had been involved in sexual abuse. Scott later admitted to the neglect charges.
Nachtigal's ruling Friday followed hearings spread over two consecutive Fridays where each of the Scott children was discussed. The judge said that she did not think Scott maliciously neglected her children, but said that they suffered despite her best efforts.
``Love is simply not enough, Mrs. Scott,'' Nachtigal said. ``Providing a roof over one's head and clothes on one's back is simply not enough. You need to look into yourself as to why you had the need to collect so many children.''
One 15-year-old son told the court that he wanted to remain in foster care, but hoped he would eventually be able to live with his mother.
Scott had asked for the immediate return of up to four daughters and the eventual return in three phases of all of her children. Nachtigal agreed that some or all of the four daughters sought by Scott should be the first ones to move back into the family. But she said the moves should not occur until therapists for the children and Scott, and CSD caseworkers, agree that a move would be in the best interests of the children. The judge said she would schedule a hearing in three months if the children had not been returned by then.