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Laura Dester Children's Center closes

Posted at 10:17 PM, Jun 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-28 23:18:41-04

Three years ago, a shelter for neglected children was supposed to close.

That's just now happening.

As of early this week, all children at the Laura Dester center have been placed elsewhere.

You may see cars in the parking lot, but employees are packing up.

DHS Social Worker Anthony Meadows spent many nights at the Laura Dester Children's Center.

"Everybody's story is different," Meadows said. "So I listen to the stories and I try to decipher which one is different, what is the immediate need and we try to address those needs as quickly as possible."

The center was for children rescued from abused and neglected homes - until a foster home was found.

But now - the doors are closed.

"No, no it doesn't have anything to do with money," DHS Communications Manager Casey White said.

In 2010, the Department of Human Services entered into a class action lawsuit with children's rights movement.

Just recently - experts got a court order to close the shelter on June 30.

"It's just one of those situations where if you don't have a place for the kid, where do they end up?" Meadows asked.

A social worker says some of the services provided at the children's center - were life-saving to children struggling. And now, like many, he questions where those children will go to get help.

42 kids were at Laura Dester - two were reunited with their family, 13 moved to foster homes, 13 moved to group homes, five were sent to specialized treatment facilities and three to youth services shelters.

Now, questions are still left unanswered, as to where kids will go.


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