SANDPOINT, Idaho — Six children who holed up in their squalid home after their mother was arrested for child neglect have been placed in foster care, authorities said Thursday.
The six left Bonner General Hospital to temporarily stay with the family, whom they know, Michelle Britton of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare said.
"We've placed them with a family in north Idaho that has children of their own," Britton said. "We see their effort as very generous and very loving and we greatly appreciate their help."
A hearing Monday will determine whether the children will stay with the foster family for at least 30 days while the department investigates charges against their mother, JoAnn McGuckin.
McGuckin, 46, remained in the Bonner County Jail on Thursday, refusing to leave until the state drops felony child neglect charges and apologizes.
Prosecutor Phil Robinson said neither would happen.
McGuckin is free to leave the jail, but refuses to sign documents limiting her contact with her children.
Britton said the department will help the foster family meet the children's' basic needs, such as purchases of food and clothing and transportation assistance.
"We do give the foster family recommendations and suggestions based on what they observe," she said. "We also do our own assessments. We still have work to do in preparation for the legal process."
McGuckin is to appear before a magistrate judge Wednesday on the child neglect charges, Assistant Atty. Gen. Jason Siems said from Coeur d'Alene.
Sheriff's deputies arrested the children's recently widowed mother on May 29 on a warrant alleging child neglect and tried to take the children into custody the same day, believing they were malnourished, cold and living in unhealthy conditions.