My sister lost her kids almost a year ago. It'll be a year in 2 weeks. It was in large part to something that her boyfriend did, but she never opened up and explained what happened to authorities. She sat on it, and while not protecting him, per say, she wasn't doing anything to help the case against him, either.
Anyway, she has been doing the bare minimum over the past 9 months or so to get her kids back. Her son was only a couple months old at the time, and her daughter was almost school age. She has known since June that one requirement was that she find a suitable living arrangement that included 2 or 3 bedrooms. There were location restrictions as well. She spent from June to early October talking about it, hearing suggestions, and shooting them down.
She figured my aunt would let her and the kids move in with her, but she shot herself in the foot with that one, when she accused our special needs cousin of something. The state will not approve my aunt's home as a possibility.
She had a deadline of September 4th, and watched it pass. They extended it to Oct 1st, and she watched it pass. Today, she's freaking out, because they have given her a hard deadline of 15 days to find, move in, and make livable a home for her two children. If she can't do it, they will be removed from her care permenently.
She has had a full time job making $15/hour, no rent, but she had an eviction on her record that won't be removed until she pays over $1500 in back rent. She also has been required to pay CS to the state over the past year, and she's over $6000 in arrears for CS.
But of course, her nails are always freshly manicured, her clothes are always new, her hair freshly cut and colored every few weeks. She is always complaining that she's broke, and has all these bills, but she was making more than enough to pay them off while she worked, during the time when she didn't have the apartment. She has been bouncing back and forth, living with various family members over the last year- no rent, no utilities, just CS and back debt.
And I don't feel remotely bad for her.