How COVID-19 Has Complicated the Process for Adoptions and Foster Families

Brena Slater is the chief executive officer of the Safe Children Coalition, a nonprofit that provides a range of child welfare services in Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties. Slater says the organization is still receiving plenty of inquiries from new potential foster families, but has seen a drop-off in already approved families accepting children into their homes because of the pandemic. The coalition currently has 268 licensed foster homes. More than 1,400 children in the coalition’s three-county region have been removed from their homes; 220 children are currently eligible for adoption.

“The need is great, especially for teens and sibling groups,” Slater says.

A number of factors may be causing such declines. People are trying to keep their distance from others to avoid the coronavirus and may be wary of bringing new people into their homes. Also, families with children may not feel like they have enough space to accommodate more children, because the parents are working from home and school is not in session. Job losses and other economic hardships may also be discouraging families from starting the adoption or fostering process…

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