US courts are halting in person family visits which is devastating to biological parents who are battling to regain custody of their children. Many families are worried they are losing out on crucial bonding time and fear the isolation could cause irreparable damage. Though virtual meetings have been taking place when possible, families feel the interaction aspect is gone. It is too early to measure the coronavirus' true impact on the child welfare system.
Florida legislature is introducing good reforms for children in crisis according to the Children's Campaign. There will no longer be a statute of limitation for sexual battery against children, also Jordan's Law requires officers to provide information to the child abuse hotline. Another bill requires trainings for dependency court judges and clarifies the rule of childhood court programs. The Department of Children and Families is setting up an Office of Quality, a statewide accountability system for the child welfare system.
The City University of New York (CUNY) system is requiring Dorm Project students, youth from foster care, to vacate their dorms to make room for hospital patients. The New York City's Dorm Project provides approximately 100 college students who grew up in foster care with stipends, tutoring and year-round guaranteed housing. The CUNY system needs additional beds for hospital patients due to the coronavirus pandemic. These students are being treated as an afterthought in this situation by being moved into an unstable and uncertain living situation.
The latest fromVoice for Adoption advocacy can be found here.
Update from theHuman Rights Campaign Foundation can be found here.