COVID-19 is Separating Foster kids from Families

In Florida, Foster and Adoptive Parent Association president Amanda Cruce is encouraging all child welfare agencies to move to electronic visitation, but acknowledges the resulting emotional impact on parents who long to hold and hug their kids.

She advises that fellow foster parents be understanding and extra communicative: Text parents photos of their kids throughout the day. Allow FaceTime calls at more frequent intervals. Be flexible about call length. “A lot of it is about sharing the power, not being in control,” Cruce said, noting that she’s grown closer to her foster child’s birth mother because she took time to explain the risks of continued personal contact and listened to the woman’s input.

In some parts of the country, logistical issues add further complications. In Ohio, a large portion of foster children are from rural areas, and about 25% of the 16,000-plus children in state care are placed with relatives who often lack the resources and support afforded to traditional foster families, according to Ohio Family Care Association administrator Dot Erickson-Anderson…

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