Children’s Rights Calls for Urgent Policy Changes Amidst COVID-19 Crisis

In response to the COVID-19 emergency, Sandy Santana, executive director of Children’s Rights, issued the following statement regarding youth held in jail, detention centers, foster care group homes, and institutions:

“We need to prioritize the health and safety of our children, which is why we’re calling for urgent state and municipal policy changes now starting with an immediate halt to all new entries of youth into jail or detention facilities. For youth already in detention, agencies should immediately conduct a case-by-case assessment of every child to determine whether there is a family home where they can be placed, with supportive services, and if the answer is yes, that child should be moved there as quickly as possible. For youth in the foster care system, no new children should be entering group homes or residential treatment facilities, unless there is an acute health need. For children already in group homes and residential facilities, the same case-by-case assessment protocol should be followed. In these times, children need the support of adults who can care for them with love and compassion. It’s got to be families over facilities—now more than ever.”