West Virginia Foster Care Families to Receive COVID-19 Stipend
West Virginia foster care families will receive a COVID-19 stipend. Some may be wondering what prompted this stipend. Those in the foster community know first hand how their needs have changed since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. With schools closed West Virginia’s foster care families have greater needs. They no longer can depend on schools to help provide breakfast and lunch. Plus foster children are missing out on valuable in-person resources.
Why West Virginia is Taking Action
With over 7,200 children in foster care within West Virginia, the state opted to give foster parents an additional $90 per child per month. This is to help reduce any of the costs accrued to keep their families safe through the pandemic. Whether these costs are food-related or to help with school items. The needs of foster families are increasing across the board.
Other Shifts in West Virginia’s Foster Care Practices
There are many predicting an increased need for foster families. This comes from the low reporting of child abuse through mandated reporting during the outbreak. Once children are back in the public eye the reports will increase again because children are being seen.
To help get ahead of this need, West Virginia is allowing for people to become certified foster parents through an online course. This helps reduce the spread of the virus while training people on the needs and standards of fostering.
In conclusion, as we continue to navigate through the pandemic it is important to advocate for the needs of foster youth and their families. While $90 a month more may not seem like a lot, it is a huge support. These funds help to put food on the table. We can only hope that more states begin to offer more support.
If you would like to support foster families, consider sponsoring a meal for one in your community. Learn more here.