- April 27, 2008
LULING—Seventy-five children removed from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints ranch by the Texas Department of Child Protective Services have been placed with Baptist Children’s Home Youth Ranch near Luling.
This will allow for large groups of siblings to remain together at the facility which has been adapted to house FLDS children exclusively, administrators explained.
By court order, 462 children removed from the FLDS compound near Eldorado are being moved to children’s homes all across the state.
Baptist Children’s Home is a division of Baptist Child & Family Services, a BGCT-affiliated agency based in San Antonio.
BCFS Health and Human Services, another division of BCFS that provides emergency management and incident management, has been in charge of the San Angelo unified command of state and local government, as well as other nonprofit responding organizations since April 5. At the peak, more than 1,000 responders were involved in the San Angelo operation.
“The children are being treated with the utmost consideration, care and respect like all people we care for and we will continue to protect their privacy,” BCFS President Kevin Dinnin said. “Special attention is being paid to ensuring their special dietary and religious needs are honored and met. The children’s education needs are also being met.”
The San Angelo shelters kept more than 50 BCFS incident management team members and more than $1 million of BCFS assets in San Angelo three weeks, including two mobile medical units and the mobile feeding unit supported by Texas Baptist Men.
The transfer of children was expected to be completed April 25. More than 1,000 people from numerous state and nonprofit organizations were slated to participate in a critical stress management process as part of the demobilization plan.
“Though there are significant differences, there is a common denominator between what we are doing in this situation and what we did for Hurricane Katrina evacuees and victims of the Sri Lanka tsunami and what we’re doing to help fight the international sex trafficking in Moldova,” Dinnin said. “We didn’t create the situation but are working to meet the needs of those affected.”