To conclude National Foster Care Month, the federal Senate Caucus for Foster Youth held a briefing on COVID-19’s impact on child welfare. The May 28th hearing shed light on the realities of vulnerable children and families who are already involved with the foster care system or families at risk of being involved in the child welfare system. Professionals, foster youth, advocates, physicians, caregivers and more weighed in on the current state of at-risk children and families different areas of the country and shared needed resources for those populations to thrive during the current health crisis.
Some of the issues that were raised during the hearing included the need for psychological treatment for abused children and training for the foster parents caring for them, a decline in reports of abuse due to schools being closed, the struggles that children with learning disabilities are facing while learning virtually, and the economic hardships of older youth who are transitioning from foster care to adulthood.
While the panelists from Michigan and Louisiana spoke about the needs of children and families in their own states, some of their issues are similar to issues we face here in New Jersey. ACNJ held a webinar discussing the impact of COVID-19 on New Jersey children and families with Department of Children and Families Commissioner Norbet-Beyer and members of her staff. Presenters talked about how we can all work together to strengthen families and help children in our state. Although National Foster Care Month has come to a close, advocating for the needs of children persists and continues nationally.
Watch the briefing
FosterClub Blog – Supporting Independent Young People from Foster Care During COVID-19 - ILP Poll Results
NJ DCF Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources
ACNJ - NJ Department of Children and Families’ Response to COVID-19