Tee, a former foster youth from Iowa shares results from FosterClub’s second poll of youth from foster care who are transitioning to adulthood, between the ages 18-24. Tee is currently in her last year studying social work and struggling to switch from hands on to online education. Tee has lost 2 of her 3 jobs as a result of COVID-19. FosterClub’s most recent poll found that,
65% of foster youth have lost employment as a result of COVID-19 41% who have applied for unemployment have not received assistance 52% have not received a stimulus check Tee asks Congress for support stating that an increasing Chafee funds would support older youth in care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Iowa organizations are among more than 570 national, state and local organizations that are urging Congress for emergency child welfare support to address the COVID-19 crisis. Read letter here.
Amani Community Services Child and Family Policy Center Coalition for Family & Children’s Services in Iowa EMBARC Every Child Matters in Iowa Iowa Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics Lutheran Services in Iowa Prevent Child Abuse Iowa Youth Emergency Services & Shelter of Iowa YSS
Op-ed by Tiara Mosley spent four years in the Iowa foster care system and was a 2018 FosterClub Outstanding Young Leader.
Foster youth are feeling isolated, hopeless, and overwhelmed during this pandemic. I recently participated in a virtual congressional briefing hosted by FosterClub, Youth Villages and Juvenile Law Center to elevate the voices of the many foster youth who are facing the burden of COVID-19 alone, I hope that Congress can provide emergency aid directly to young people from foster care so their accomplishments, success and lives are not completely derailed.
Social workers, family needs, and foster care are among the essential services that have not been put on pause amid the novel-coronavirus pandemic. In Iowa, while some non-urgent matters can be done via conference calls, new child abuse or family crisis cases must be conducted in person, and are complicated by K-12 schools being closed for the month.
“We have been impacted on basically every front in terms of the work we do,” said Janee Harvey, division administrator of adult, children, and family services at the Iowa Department of Human Services.
Amid the pandemic, both the Iowa Supreme Court and Department of Human Services have made it clear that family reunification comes first and foremost, D’Aunno said, and parent-child visits remain a priority.
“We can’t let up, because if we don’t maintain visits those families are at risk of never getting back together,” D’Aunno said.