It has been a hard year for so many during the pandemic, and this is especially the case for foster children. We’ve had a lot of answer a few questions about how this pandemic is affecting children in foster care, and are sharing our experience here!
How Has COVID impacted foster children?
Many children in foster care are trying to learn a routine. They came from situations that may not have been stable, and may have moved from other foster homes, so are nervous about changes. COVID has turned a lot of that stability they are trying to learn upside-down, and so we see a lot of children struggling more to understand their emotions and feel safe and secure.
Children’s permanency plans may also be impacted. For a lot of children in foster care reuniting with their families, their usually in-person visits with their biological families may be less frequent or have to take place online, which is a tough transition. For some children who are being adopted, court is being held online or taking less cases a day, so this process may be slowed down.
Are there still children coming into care?
Absolutely; we have seen an uptick in foster placements as parents struggle with their own mental health crises and addictions during this pandemic. We unfortunately expect that this trend will continue, and that we’ll see even more children come into care when more children are back in school and can talk to teachers about what may be going on at home.
Unfortunately, due to concerns over the pandemic, less parents are accepting new foster care placements, making foster homes even harder to find than previously.
What is it like being a foster parent during the pandemic?
Much like parenting a biological child right now, it depends from child to child! Some children are doing fine with these changes, whereas others are struggling missing their friends, sports, school, family, and the myriad of transitions they’re going through right now. However, our agency is working incredibly hard to provide support during this tough time; we’ve provided gift cards, masks, gifts, trainings, and support groups to our superhero foster parents, and work closely with social services, teachers, medical providers, and anyone else in your child’s life to make sure everyone is getting what they need.
What do foster children need right now?
First and foremost, they need a home. We are in need of parents to provide both short term foster care (can be as short as only a couple of days, to help provide a break to current foster parents) or longer term foster care (can be up a year or more).
We’re also always looking for donations to help our foster parents out. Whether that is a gift card, school supplies for at-home learning, arts and crafts, board games, toys, or other activities, hygiene products and clothes for new children in care, or almost anything else, our families would love the support.
Call us at 703-817-9890 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today to learn more and help out.