Sunday, June 15, 2008

Texas update: About a third of FLDS children back at ranch with parents

More than two dozen families have returned to the YFZ Ranch in west Texas while others have set up homes in San Antonio and other cities.

Based on information provided by parents, Texas Child Protective Services reported Thursday that 143 children are back at the ranch, living in 30 households.
Another 178 children, from 33 families, are living in the San Antonio area. The rest are scattered around the state.

The last child was picked up from Cal Farley's Boys Ranch in Amarillo on June 4.
CPS is reassigning caseworkers to families based on where they are living, said spokesman Patrick Crimmins. It also is doing "background work" to "customize" parenting classes that families will be required to complete as part of a court order issued by 51st District Judge Barbara Walther.

Crimmins said he did not know when that work would be completed so that parents could begin taking courses.

Walther, as ordered by two higher courts, on June 2 returned the children to their parents, members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Some 450 children were taken from the ranch April 3-5 and placed in state custody after investigators alleged a "pervasive pattern" of underage marriage and abuse existed. The higher courts found Walther lacked evidence to back those claims for all children.

CPS also is still reviewing DNA reports that began arriving at the Tom Green County Courthouse last week. About two-thirds of the reports have been returned by Laboratory Corp. of America, which collected about 600 samples from FLDS children and parents.

Walther ordered the tests to determine identities of each child's parents. CPS also may use the results to press abuse cases - for example, in an instance where an underage girl is found to have had a child.

The state initially claimed that 31 minor girls had children or were pregnant; it later acknowledged that 26 of those women were adults.

That leaves five girls on the state's original list of minor mothers, three of whom were 16 when they gave birth last year; one girl was 17. The fifth girl, who turns 17 in August, is pregnant; her due date is unknown.

"The investigation is continuing in all instances," Crimmins said. "We are reviewing the information we have already gathered and determining what to do next."

That will determine, he said, how much additional involvement CPS will have with individual families.

"Depending on the individual child, the allegation and what information CPS already has, we will be proceeding with interviews as necessary," he said.

Original Article -

Texas update: About a third of FLDS children back at ranch with parents - Salt Lake Tribune

Here is a blog that was sent to me today about the Texas CPS case-

Grits for Breakfast: Judge to CPS: Shut down investigation of YFZ family

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