COVID-19 Court Closures Impacting Foster Youth
COVID-19 court closures are impacting foster youth on several levels as people across America are taking efforts to reduce the spread of the COVID-19/coronavirus. A practice currently in place in California and other states is the “Safer at Home” initiative. With this practice, many places of work continue to reduce their in-person staff to just the essential people.
While quarantining the majority of the population is the best practice. COVID-19 court closures are adversely impacting foster youth in multiple ways. Including limiting or stopping the adoption process.
Adoptions On Hold
Right now, in LA, you can only drop off legal paperwork with an attendant. So, for those attempting to move their adoption forward, it may take even longer than usual.
Unfortunately, the adoption process can already seem lengthy. If other counties and states begin to follow LA counties example. Who knows when the next adoption will move forward.
Limited Support for Visitations
Visitations bring comfort to foster youth. Currently, in-person visits in LA are on hold. Foster parents and social workers are scrambling to try and make video conference calls work in the meantime.
We praise everyone who is making these pivots. However, we are finding that there is a lack of resources for both foster parents and social workers on this front.
Access to functioning computers or computers that can manage video isn’t always possible. We wonder how the social workers across the country will continue to navigate this.
In conclusion, we are hopeful that the COVID-19 court closures will only be brief. Children who are on the path to forever homes really just want to. be there. 1/4 of children in foster care have parental rights terminated. We can only imagine how stressful a longer waiting period must be for those children and families.
For those interested in helping foster youth and foster families during this time. We have created an emergency fund to offer tangible support. Including funds for computers. Check it out here.