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Foster Care

What We Are Seeing

  • Investigators of child abuse fearful of getting sick or spreading the illness are trying to do their jobs from the front door, or even over video, instead of going inside a family’s home.
  • Some foster parents are refusing to accept new children, even if there is no indication they have the virus.
  • Across the nation, most visits between birth parents and their children in foster care have been suspended or switched to phone calls, at a time when children are more in need of reassurance and a hug than ever.
  • Family courts are closing their doors, and indefinitely extending many legal deadlines, including for adoptions or proceedings to return children in the system to their parents.
  • More older youth who have aged out are experiencing alarming levels of need and instability, including hunger, unemployment, and homelessness.

What CR is Doing

Read Sandy’s Op-Ed calling for policymakers to support youth in and aging out of foster care during the COVID-19 crisis.

July 13, 2020

How to safely reopen in-person visitation?

Policy suggestions to allow parent-child and sibling in-person visitations while remaining safe during COVID-19.

Before visitation

1. Assess high-risk individuals.

2. Hold planning conversations with the team.

3. Provide the option for additional tech-enabled visitation schedules.

During Visitation

1. Conduct a pre-screening of symptoms before each visit.

2. Disinfect and sanitize the visitation space.

3. Ensure that each participant has a mask.

4. Enforce social distancing.

5. Follow the CDC guidelines for handwashing before, during, and after each visit.

Supporting in-person visitation enables children and youth to focus on bonding and reunification with their families.

Learn more »

June 4, 2020

Alongside young people with lived experience in the foster care system and other national, state, and local organizations, we sent a letter urging Congress to provide provisions in their COVID-19 relief bills. We demand support for young people during the crisis including increasing Chafee Funding by $500 million and preventing youth from aging out. 

Read the full letter we sent to Congress » 

Proposed Federal Legislation Fact Sheet »

May 12, 2020

We are proud to have joined over 110 organizations and 650 foster youth, foster parents, and advocates calling for Congress to provide crucial supports to older youth facing the stress and disruptions resulting from COVID-19.

We urge Congress to consider the series of legislative recommendations provided below for inclusion in the next COVID-19 relief bill.

April 23, 2020

Call on Your Governor to Help Older Foster Youth

As policymakers at both the state and federal level consider how to implement protections for American families from the economic and societal consequences of the pandemic, they must not forget about our nation’s foster youth preparing to age out of the system.

A few states — Connecticut, Illinois, California, Rhode Island, Michigan, Ohio, and South Carolina— have already put policies in place to stop youth from aging out during the crisis. Governors who have not yet acted must follow their lead, and do it now.

We need the power of your voice to ensure every governor hears the message!

Add your voice.

April 17, 2020

We are proud to have joined over 110 organizations and 650 foster youth, foster parents, and advocates calling for Congress to provide crucial supports to older youth facing the stress and disruptions resulting from COVID-19.

Children’s Rights joined national advocates in urging Congress to take action to help older foster youth in and aging out of foster care. 

We ask that the following reforms are included:

  1. Increase Chafee Funding by $500 million
  2. Extend the Age of Eligibility for Chafee Aftercare Services to Age 23 for All Youth
  3. Suspend Participation Requirements for Young People in Extended Foster Care
  4. Place a Moratorium on Discharges from the Foster Care System for Youth Ages 18-21
  5. Allow States to Draw Down Title IV-E funds until a Young Person Reaches Age 22

We urge Congress to consider the series of legislative recommendations provided below for inclusion in the next COVID-19 relief bill.

Resources

Child Welfare COVID-19 Command Center

The Command Center houses resources and guidance for foster care individuals and organizations affected by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Child Welfare COVID-19 Command Center

COVID-19 Foster Care & Adoption News

Disclaimer: The information and materials on this web site are intended for informational purposes only and are not intended to be treated as legal advice.