Thursday, April 6, 2017

Should Josh Powell have had the right to be with his children at home?

SALT LAKE CITY — The plot Josh Powell used to kill himself and his children was so off the charts that players in Utah's child-protection arena had to recover from their own state of shock before thinking clinically about what happened or what could have been done to protect the children.

"I've dealt with hundreds of cases of (child) abuse and neglect, but this was just completely a shock," said Jini Roby, a lawyer and associate professor in Brigham Young University's Social Work department.

The shock and anger felt Sunday continued to resonate throughout Utah and Washington a day later as the same question kept being asked in homes and offices: Why did Josh Powell, a person suspected in the disappearance of his wife, facing a pyschosexual evaluation, have rights to be with his children at home?

The answer: Josh Powell did not fit easily into any legal box that would have kept him away from his children.

In the Powell case, "I'm not sure anything would have made a difference," psychologist and clinical director Carol Gageshe said. "There just isn't a law that can second-guess every human behavior."

Roby said the legal pendulum is continually in motion when it comes to the balance between parents' rights and the court's ability to intervene. "It's just a very, very delicate balance," she said.

In the Powell case, Josh Powell was a "person of interest" in the criminal investigation into the disappearance of his wife, Susan Cox Powell, who vanished more than two years ago. He was neither charged in the case nor publicly named a suspect.

Josh Powell lost custody of his two boys, Charlie and Braden, ages 7 and 5, because of child pornography found in his father's house, where Josh Powell and the boys were living. Father Steven Powell remains in jail facing charges, but Josh Powell was not implicated in that case.

"The judge was already on the verge of imposing on the rights of the parent" when Josh Powell lost custody of his children, who were temporarily placed in the custody of their mother's parents, Chuck and Judy Cox, Roby said. Such a decision is "a function of the court. It's not something we can establish through a scientific test or some kind of factual quantification."

There has been no legal argument that Josh Powell had neglected or abused the children, so his parental rights were firmly intact, Roby said.

There is usually a significant track record of neglect or abuse when the courts weigh in to strip a parent of the custody of their children.

"We have about half a million children in foster care on any given day. Of all of those cases, most of them have had some time period of concern, some indications of harm," Roby said. "For this to happen absolutely out of the blue like this is very, very unusual."

Salt Lake City-based Renaissance Child Visitation Services has facilitated court-ordered visits with non-custodial parents. Psychologist and clinical director Carol Gage said parents are usually on their best behavior during supervised visits because they know the supervisor's notes will get back to a judge overseeing custody issues.

"It's kind of like the way you drive when a policeman is behind you. You're extra cautious," Gage said, adding that the only harm that has come to any of her supervisors over the past 15 years was a broken tail bone when a supervisor fell while accompanying a child to a roller skating rink. "It had nothing to do with a threat or the parent."

Gage said court protective orders are in place in 80 percent to 90 percent of the visitation cases that come to her.

Sherry Hill, a spokeswoman for Washington's Child Visitation Services Seattle at the Department of Social and Health Services, said state authorities work closely with courts to determine whether supervised visits should be allowed and whether they should be held at a parent's home or at a neutral site.

"If there had been any indication of suicidal thoughts, or anything that we would have thought there was an intent to harm the children, we would have taken immediate action," she said. "If we had thought that, we would have done what we could. I don't think there's anything else we could have done."

Elisabeth Sollis, spokeswoman for the Utah Department of Human Services, said, "We all end up with some sort of emotional attachment," in cases. She said judges, the attorney general's office, guardian ad litem, law enforcement, mental health officials and education officials are drawn into cases that involve children and issues that arise within their family circles.

"You've got a lot of people" weighing into an arena where decisions are made regarding children's interests and safety, she said.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

3 Solid Tips to Write a Successful Business Plan

Both successful businesspersons and inexperienced MBA students need to know how to create a well-organized business plan. This document is supposed to demonstrate the current condition of the definite firm and its future possibilities. The main idea of an academic business plan is to make your enterprise logically and professionally. It should contain the methods and strategies that will be utilized for the development of your company. In addition, this document requires broad knowledge about the financial condition of the market whereas your firm exists within the other companies that can offer the same goods and services. Your task is to brainstorm the best way to compete with them and win. So, how a good business plan should be made?

Tip #1 – Prepare for Writing

  • Study the Market. Before you start writing your business plan, you ought to think about the type of your enterprise. What are you going to produce? Will it be demanded by your potential customers? Therefore, you should study the market attentively. What do modern consumers need? Can you provide them with this product? The best way to study the market is to use the Internet. Most often, both satisfied and frustrated customers share their points of view about various companies and their products in the social networking websites. You can read their feedback and get to know about the goods and services that require improvement. Moreover, you will learn about the products that do not exist at all but they are required passionately. As you see, the Internet provides you with the unlimited opportunities. Bear in mind that corporations pay billions to study the market. You can conduct this primary research yourself.
  • Describe Your Business. Your following action is to describe the concept of your own firm. If you already know the approximate situation on the market, you can imagine the idea of your business. Make a scheme of the major goods and services that will be offered by your company. Think about its finance, staff, investors, marketing, etc. Of course, you should take into account the fact whether your firm is already active or not. If you need to reorganize your business, your business plan will be a bit different. For instance, you will need to imagine new products that will improve the condition of your firm or focus on the new strategies that will contribute into its development...

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Boost Business Performance by Using These Brilliant Strategies

The performance of your business is very important and plays a big role in developing a successful future. That’s why you have to do whatever you can to think about your business performance. What can you do to improve this? What is business performance, and why is it so vital to the future of the company. You’ll find some ideas and suggestions on here that will help you with that.

Use Software Programs

When you are developing your brand, you need to think hard about efficiency. This is something that a lot of people don’t pay too much attention to, and their companies can often struggle as a result. You’ve got to make sure you focus on what makes a company tick, and what helps businesses run better. Software programs should be an integral part of the day to day running of your company. They can make things so much easier and help the company perform at a higher level. You have to check out Wonderment Apps and see the sorts of things they have on offer. Improving your web development and business intelligence is crucial for boosting your importance as a company.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Feeling Taxed? What Expenses You Can Claim As a Business Owner

Being an entrepreneur or a business owner requires knowing everything about your company, inside and out. So when the topic of taxes crops up, can you honestly say that you know everything about how to save on them? The whole tax return process can be a very daunting one to say the least, but small businesses need to keep a close eye on what they can deduct and what benefits are available to them so they can reduce what they are liable for. We are all looking for ways to save money, and when you are starting a small business, saving money is the name of the game! So use some of these methods to help make your business as cost-effective and tax-deductible as you can.

Use the Cost of the Startup as A Deduction

The IRS provides tax breaks for small businesses. You can deduct up to $5000 of your startup costs during the first year of trading. As a result, you can reduce your taxable income, which includes income tax and self-employment tax, which covers Medicare tax and Social Security. Other costs that you can deduct include the purchasing of supplies and equipment, and other operational fees. The remainder of the startup costs should then be depreciated over the course of 15 years.