Hearing held for two children living in old school bus

May 2, 2012 3:38:14 PM PDT
The mother of two children found living on an old school bus in Montgomery County is hoping to get them back. She appeared in court Wednesday, fighting for custody and she may have a strong supporter in her corner.

It was a status hearing that wrapped up in Montgomery County, and there were no major decisions Wednesday. But the program director for CPS in Montgomery County says she's never seen a parent work so hard to get her kids back. That mom, Sherrie Shorten, left saying she's pretty optimistic.

A postal worker reported a 12-year-old girl and a 5-year-old boy living alone on a bus in deplorable conditions back in March. It turned out both parents were in prison for fraud and according to Shorten, they had reached out to relatives before going to prison, but couldn't get any help.

The kids were taken into foster care and Shorten got out of prison two weeks ago. Since then, CPS says she has done everything she can to get her kids back -- cleaning up her property, cleaning up the bus, visiting her kids. She told us this all has been pretty emotional for her and the kids.

"The first time I heard it was he told me good night on the phone and when he did my heart just dropped because he said, 'I miss you,' and I wanted to reach through the phone and give him a big hug," said Shorten.

She says she wants to stay on the bus with her kids once it's cleaned up and inspected because she owns the land and hopes to build a house there in the future. She says she's looking for a job.

Shorten also told us volunteers are coming out to her property this weekend to clean it up. And in an unusual move, the judge wondered out loud in court if someone might donate a mobile home for the family to live in instead of the bus.


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