The caring nature of Texas residents surfaced anew last month after Texas Child Protective Services removed more than 400 children, from newborns to teens, from a polygamist sect’s sprawling Yearning for Zion Ranch at Eldorado during a raid six weeks ago. One of the first challenges the state faced was finding foster families to care for them until formal procedures can be held to determined how many of them are abused and at-risk — or whether they are juveniles at all. Court proceedings began Monday in San Angelo.
Almost immediately, offers to help were heard from people from throughout Texas. Such offers were no doubt welcome, because the task at hand was and remains difficult because of the numbers of families involved, and the problems encountered tie parents to children.
But such offers are needed every day. While the scope of the need may not be as sudden or as large as it was in these cases involving the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-day Saints, the need is significant and urgent nevertheless. Placement agencies are constantly looking for appropriate foster homes, and opportunities are always available to help.
The process that state government has in place to protect children from threat and danger relies on the willingness of good people to step forward and to be available to assist. Those good people shouldn’t wait for hundreds of children in a sect to be removed for them to be needed. They are needed today, and they will be needed tomorrow, as well.