California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced youth in foster care will not be aging out of the system during the pandemic. Foster care services have been temporarily extended to prevent youth in the system from losing benefits during the coronavirus crisis. On April 18, youth who turn 21 on or after the date of the directive will be able to continue receiving foster care benefits through June 30, 2020. Advocates are pushing for measures to prevent aging out amidst the pandemic stating releasing young adults during this crisis is inhumane and unconscionable.
Missouri nonprofit, 30 Days to Family is an organization that is focusing on keeping children with family members by assisting social workers to locate extended family and mapping out a plan to keep children out of foster care. Social workers are assigned two cases at a time and have to be creative to find extended family members who are willing and able to take care of children. A 2017 study analyzing 30 Days to Family found that children in the program were in foster care for less days.
West Virginia child advocates are getting creative reaching vulnerable children. Worrisome data shows that mandatory reporting and referrals have decreased with school closings and stay at home orders. Siblings separately placed are resorting to seeing each other over video chat and visitations with biological parents are happening over video conferencing. When that is not possible, foster parents are mailing photos. Organizations are adapting by practicing the CDC guidelines and safety precautions while at the same time being responsive to families and children.
The latest fromVoice for Adoption advocacy can be found here.
Update from theHuman Rights Campaign Foundation can be found here.