Friday, March 27, 2009

Octuplet Mom: Future Child Welfare Case?

The case of the "Octomom" seems destined for the child welfare system (in California)...

The constant tit-for-tat surrounding Suleman has kept the story alive two months after she made medical history as the mother of the world's longest-living set of octuplets. But it appears to have won her few friends.

Suleman has characterized herself as naive and too trusting of others, but those who have been close to her see it differently.

"They have a unique way of using people," former publicist Joann Killeen said of Suleman and her parents. "Manipulating people, getting what they want and moving on."

No friends or relatives have come forward to publicly vouch for her. She's told psychologists who examined her for a work-related injury and news media that she's been too busy having children to maintain adult relationships.

Suleman, who has no siblings, has sparred bitterly with her mother on the Internet, and her father has questioned her mental stability.

Perhaps most notable is the absence of a father to her 14 children, who were all conceived through in vitro fertilization. Suleman has taken a vow of celibacy, saying she doesn't believe she should date until her babies graduate high school.

Public fascination with Suleman began to sour before she ever left the hospital, as her identity was leaked and details of her life began trickling out: She had six other children at home and had been jobless since 1999, living on disability payments, food stamps and student loans while birthing her brood.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

KLAS-TV: Judge Mosley Ex-Girlfriend in Jail

Terry Mosley, the ex-girlfriend of District Court Judge Donald Mosley, has been arrested and charged with writing bad checks.
When I first read this headline, I felt certain it referred to Amy McNair, (former?) girlfriend of Family Court Judge Steven Jones. Turns out it refers to the "ex" of criminal court judge Donald Mosley.

Apparently the only thing Judge Mosley and his ex-girlfriend Terry have in common is their son, who came to juvenile court a few months ago on a serious charge. I happened to be in Courtroom 18 at the time, and saw the ex-couple in action. Terry is a true nutcase whose sole goal in life seems to be making Judge Mosley's life hell. The kid is stuck in the middle.

I'm not sure the "ex-girlfriend" ended up with the last name "Mosley," but it's apparently a very convoluted 20-year saga, driven by the girlfriend's insanity.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

KLAS-TV: Nevada No. 1 in Deadbeat Parents

Nevada ranks last in the nation for collecting child support, and now the economy is making it tough for parents, even ones who want to pay, to afford it. ...

Clark County Deputy District Attorney Teresa Lowry agrees, more could and needs to be done to improve Nevada's child support enforcement record. With more than 87,000 cases in Clark County alone, the system is severely overloaded.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Nevada Ranks Poorly in Homeless Youth Report

Being without a home is not easy on anyone, but homelessness can be even more difficult for children. A new report shows just how many children have experienced homelessness in this country, and the numbers are shocking.

One in 50 kids have experienced homelessness. The report also says that most states don't have adequate services for the children. Researchers say the problem is getting worse.

Whitney Elementary has one of the highest populations of homeless students in the Clark County School District. This new report says more than 10,000 children in Nevada are without a home.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

L.A. Times: Computers in Child Welfare

The process starts with a tip to Los Angeles County’s child abuse hotline. Over the course of a typical week, the Department of Children and Family Services receives 3,000 calls.

Those that meet the legal threshold -- as determined by the computer and verified by a worker -- are routed to investigators like Winzer. The process is usually inaccessible to outsiders because of child confidentiality rules, but over four days The Times had the rare opportunity to witness it.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Two Family Court Judges Appointed

Gov. Jim Gibbons has appointed two new judges to family court in Clark County.

William Gonzalez and Charles Hoskin will serve on the Eighth Judicial District Court Family Division.

Gonzalez is currently a Clark County public defender who has represented juvenile clients. Hoskin is an attorney in private practice and was admitted to the Nevada Bar Association in 1991.

My own photo of Judge Gonzalez is above. (Also see my other court portraits.)

KLAS-TV: Child Care Cuts

Nearly 4,000 low-income Nevada families, in which both parents work, currently get state assistance to help pay their child care costs. But budget cuts have now eliminated those funds for more than 100 of the poorest working families. Hundreds more remain on a waiting list.

Without that child care assistance, many of Nevada's poorest working parents might be forced to quit working or leave their children in an unsafe situation while they try to hang on to their jobs.

"It comes down to a choice of do I buy groceries or do I pay for child care?" said Debbie Altman.