Texas Anticipates an Increased Need for Foster Families After COVID-19 Outbreak
Some Texas groups anticipate an increased need for foster families after the COVID-19 outbreak subsides. There is a concern that the numbers of neglected and abused children will mount because of the pandemic.
In anticipation, many foster agencies are calling for more families to become licensed foster parents.
Managing a Shortage
The COVID-19 outbreak is impacting every step of the foster system. With many agencies feeling the shortage of placement options. One group that licenses foster families placed 78 children in one week. The need for foster families continues to grow. They hope to train twice as many families during their next training session.
Children at Home with Their Abusers
As people continue to shelter in place, children who experience abuse have no escape. Calls reporting violence against children were down in March by 4%. This could be caused by the lack of visibility of physical abuse. Teachers, school employees, and other mandated reports are unable to see children. So, those experiencing abuse are unable to get external help from reporting.
The concern of reports increasing when schools reopen is not far fetched.
Re-Working Training Due to COVID
Due to social distancing, agencies have transitioned their licensing programs online. The hope is that these virtual courses will continue to prepare foster parents for the real world.
The COVID-19 pandemic is only amplifying the needs within the foster care system. Texas organizations are scrambling to prepare homes and new foster parents for what is to come.
One thing that has not changed are home visits before placements. The safety of children in care is the number one priority.
In conclusion, the reality during this pandemic is that abuse and neglect does not just stop. The need for foster families continues.
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