EIGHT CHILDREN TO STAY IN STATE CUSTODY

Date: 1991-05-22

Author: GORDON OLIVER - of the Oregonian Staff

Washington County Juvenile Court Judge Gayle A. Nachtigal took steps Tuesday to keep eight children from returning to the care of former Cornelius resident Sherry Scott, who lost 27 children to state custody in February.

Among the eight were a pair of 6-year-old twin boys whose life in the Scott household was ``like being raised by wolves,'' according to an attorney representing the boys.

The judge said all eight would remain in custody of the Children's Services Division and most would remain in foster care or residential treatment programs.

The state removed the children, many of them physically or emotionally disabled, from the Scott home three months ago. The Children's Services Division alleged that the house was not hygienic, that the children were not adequately supervised and that some had observed or been involved in inappropriate sexual activity.

A criminal investigation of conditions in the home is continuing.

None of the children affected by the court rulings is related to Sherry Scott, who now lives in Eugene, or her estranged husband, Carl Scott. Most of the children had been placed in the Scott home through informal arrangements with parents.

Nachtigal noted that the twins were still in diapers and had the mental development of 10-month-olds when they were removed from the Scott home. The boys have blossomed since leaving the home and are ``no longer acting like wild animals,'' she said.

``They're not the little bundles of nothing they were originally thought to be or that Mrs. Scott said they were,'' said Nachtigal, who praised the CSD for its work with the children.

Tom Collins, a court-appointed attorney for the twins, said the boys did not have the help they needed while living in the Scott home. ``It's kind of like being raised by wolves, from what I could see from the reports,'' Collins said.

The Children's Services Division will try to reunite the twins with their mother, who lives in Washington County. The boys visited with their mother Friday, their first meeting in three years.

Nachtigal postponed taking action until August on finding a permanent home for two other children, one from New Mexico and one from New York, who had been placed in the home by Open Adoption and Family Services, a private agency. Nachtigal said the physical health of the 9-year-old boy from New York had deteriorated dramatically during the three years he had lived with the Scotts.

``I would hope he is not suffering from irreversible damage, although the medical reports indicate that may be the case,'' the judge said.

Neither Carl nor Sherry Scott attended the Juvenile Court hearing in Hillsboro. The court will consider Wednesday the legal status of 19 children legally related to the Scotts who are now in state custody.

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