How the foster care system is handling the COVID pandemic

Tina Jefferson, bureau chief of child welfare for DCF, said their department hasn’t lost any foster families during COVID and still have seen families interested in fostering.

“I’ve seen that commitment and compassion (from foster families) shine through,” Jefferson said. “You see families step up for them. I can’t say enough about the families we work with that open their homes and hearts for children.”

That’s not to say fostering during a pandemic is without its complications. DCF Foster Care Program Director Natalia Liriano said when COVID hit in March and schools went remote, many foster parents also became IT and teachers for their virtual learners.

“We had to do major adjustments,” she said. “March was March madness. Our parents are troopers. We did not have many disruptions. Our families stepped up. They accepted children into their homes. Our caregivers are probably the best in the nation. They really aligned themselves with us, even considering the pandemic in March.”

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