COVID-19 outbreaks in AZ child detention centers worry advocates

July 8th, 2020

As COVID-19 infection rates and hospitalizations continue to reach record levels in Arizona, some advocates worry that children in detention and rehabilitation centers are at risk and in the blind spot of public health agencies that are grappling with a furious spread of the illness in the broader community.

Arizona is the site of one of the largest outbreaks at a child rehabilitation center in the country, with the Mingus Mountain Academy having 92 confirmed COVID-19 cases among the children it houses. Another 20 staff members tested positive for the virus.

Full article here.

Lawmakers Aim To Address Problems of Aging Out of Foster Care During a Pandemic

July 8th, 2020

Aging out of the foster care system can be a challenge under normal circumstances, but during a pandemic, it can be even harder. Now with COVID-19, hundreds of young adults who are aging out of the system and still struggling to find a job or a place to live, are now also at risk of losing their support system. Also, those who might have been able to bring their case to court were unable to since courts were closed during the height of the pandemic. Courts have only started to reopen over the last month.

Full article here.

SC is beginning to locate school children who went silent amid coronavirus pandemic

July 8th, 2020

South Carolina is starting to locate many of the children whom schools have not heard from since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, state data show.

As of July 7, schools have been able to reach 5,654 more students than last month, in which schools reported being unable to reach a total of 16,085 students since in-person classes were closed on March 16, according to survey data and a previous article from The State.

Full article here.

Foster Care’s New Reality: COVID-19 creates new challenges for kids, families

July 8th, 2020

Foster children face a number of obstacles during normal times, but this pandemic has stacked even more odds against them and their caregivers. The virus has impacted weekly supervised visits, developmental therapy, court cases pending, even adoptions.Resource parents help our county’s most vulnerable children. They play a critical role in helping build a bridge, providing a safe, supportive home for children who are unable to live with their birth parents due to neglect or substance abuse. 

Full article here.

Foster parent speaks out after contracting COVID-19 following a DSS family visit

July 7th, 2020

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Tesa Conerly, a foster parent, is speaking out after she says her foster children got sick following a family visit.

She was hospitalized for a week as a result of COVID-19. She says her young foster children were accompanied by a case worker with the South Carolina Department of Social Services when they were visiting their biological family.

Full article here.

Coronavirus’s Arrival in California Juvenile Lockup Sparks Concern

July 6th, 2020

As the coronavirus has torn through California’s incarcerated population, nine young people locked up in one of the state’s youth prisons have tested positive for it – a worrisome sign for the Division of Juvenile Justice that has so far avoided the mass outbreaks of the adult prisons. The state agency reports three infections were identified last month at the N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility in Stockton, with six more coming over the weekend. At least one of the positive tests came as a result of a young person transferred to the prison during the pandemic.

Full article here.

A different call to action to stop child abuse during coronavirus pandemic

July 3rd, 2020

Along with the delivery of prevention programming, the Child Abuse Prevention Association has provided care to foster children since 1985 through its Open Arms Children’s Home and foster care programs. COVID-19 brought a new set of challenges not just to CAPA but to everyone. From telecommuting to personal protection equipment to homeschooling, we all have worked outside of any box we’ve ever known trying to navigate the waters of a global pandemic.

Full article here.

New York City Foster Care Cancels Some Reform Efforts Due To Pandemic Funding Hit

July 3rd, 2020

This week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council approved a budget of just over $88 billion for the coming fiscal year, nearly four months into a coronavirus pandemic that created a $9 billion revenue shortage. The city’s foster care and juvenile justice agency, the Administration for Children’s Services, will see its smallest budget of de Blasio’s (D) two terms in office, with roughly $2.7 billion for the 2021 fiscal year, about 15% less than two years ago.   
 

Full article here.

When Video Chat Is the Only Thing Holding Your Family Together

July 1st, 2020

Lizmarie Oropeza imagined that when her 17-month old foster son, Caden, hit his milestones—pointing, learning to walk, speaking his first words—his biological family would be able to celebrate alongside her. Then coronavirus hit. In Oropeza’s home-state of Connecticut, visitation between families and children in the child welfare system has come to a halt under stay-at-home orders.

Full article here.

15,000 More Arkansas Children Living in Poverty, Report Shows

June 30th, 2020

KUAF

The Annie E. Casey Foundation has released the 31st edition of its Kids Count Data Book. The annual report looks at child well-being in the United States by analyzing economics, health, education, and family and community. While Arkansas’ overall ranking of childhood well-being remained the same as last year’s report at 40th, the state’s economic well-being rank dropped significantly from 36th to 46th.

Full article here.

New COVID-19 Outbreak At One Of California’s Youth Prisons—As Counties Resume Sending Kids Into The State’s Long-Broken System

June 25th, 2020

Since LA County sends more kids to DJJ than any other county, given all the other chronic problems that make the state’s youth facilities an unhealthy, non-rehabilitative or healing environment for any kid (as WLA and our writers have repeatedly reported), this is one more on a long list of reasons to turn the spigot off at our end — now not later.

Full article here.

How the pandemic is testing the foster care system

June 25th, 2020

For months, COVID-19 has been disrupting families — and that includes foster families. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, there are more than 400,000 children in foster care in the U.S.

And it’s not just foster families and children feeling the weight of the pandemic. The whole system has ground to a halt: The courts are backed up. Social workers can’t safely enter homes to check on kids. And reports to state abuse hotlines are down, in some states as much as 50%.

Full article here.

During Coronavirus, High-Quality Legal Representation Can Be a Lifesaver for Families

June 24th, 2020

This year, there likely will be many fewer family reunifications to celebrate. The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted our nation’s child welfare system, which in the best of times struggles to reunite the families it is tasked with helping.

But states and counties that have come to rely on interdisciplinary legal representation – a model that includes social workers and peer advocates working alongside attorneys to fight for parents and children – have overcome the new barriers imposed by the pandemic to help families reunify.

Full article here.

Risk factors for child abuse have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis

June 23rd, 2020

After several weeks of stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19, it is clear we are facing a crisis in child maltreatment. Well-known risk factors for the incidence of child abuse have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis.

At the same time, our ability to identify children experiencing maltreatment has been drastically limited by stay-at-home orders and school closures. As long as the community organizations that most frequently serve our children are closed or restricted, it will be necessary for our local and national leaders to bring together our multidisciplinary colleagues and different groups of people together find new ways to identify and prevent child abuse.

Full article here.

3 ways the foster care system can emerge stronger after the coronavirus pandemic

June 21st, 2020

There has been a significant drop in reports of child abuse and neglect during the coronavirus pandemic. Many fear that as we emerge, the child welfare system will be flooded as the impacts of family stress become public again. In preparation, state foster care departments must improve their operations to better serve foster parents and assist social workers with complex cases.

Full article here.

Support Young People in Foster Care Beyond 21

June 19th, 2020

COVID-19 has had profound impacts on young people across the country, and particularly on those in the foster care system. Many of those youth risk an abrupt loss of support and services immediately upon their exit from the system. No housing assistance. No food subsidies. No support networks. Especially in the midst of a pandemic, this needs to change.

Full article here.