Latest News on Eldorado
News Brief: Monday, April 21, 2008http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/About/News/2008/2008-04-21_news.asp
DFPS and other state agencies continue to shelter and care for 437 children removed from the FLDS ranch near Eldorado. A more accurate census taken at the shelter at the San Angelo Coliseum determined an additional 21 children are in state custody.
Some 950 state employees and private agency staff are operating the shelter and caring for children at the shelter and providing for all the needs of the children.
Collecting samples for court ordered DNA testing is going smoothly at the coliseum. Cheek swabs are being collected from each child, as well as the adults who still accompany them. Once all the samples are collected it will take 30 to 50 days to get the results.
The Texas Attorney General’s Office is overseeing the collection of samples. Tomorrow, teams will be in Eldorado to collect samples from anyone who claims to be a parent of any of the children.
Children will be moved into foster placements as soon as possible. Once testing is complete, a final court order is entered and placements are finalized.
To make this transition as smooth as possible, DFPS will keep children together in groups. Children will be free to continue to worship daily as is their custom and keeping them together will provide emotional support.
DFPS will keep teenage girls and their children together, and sibling groups together as much as possible.
Once in foster care, DFPS will begin evaluating the educational, healthcare and counseling needs of each child and create a service plan for each child.
All the children are receiving healthy food, medical care, and enjoying recreational activities to pass the time.
The Department of State Health Services says the overall health of the children is good. There are no serious illnesses and no more than the typical number of illnesses expected in a group of children this size.