Child Welfare Advocates and Service Providers with CHAMPS-NY Call On State Leaders To Prioritize Needs of Children and Families Involved in Child Welfare in COVID-19 Response
As All New York Families Struggle, Needs Intensify for Child Welfare-Involved Children and Families
ALBANY, NY – A group of child welfare advocates and service providers with CHAMPS-NY are calling upon the State to prioritize the needs of children and families involved in the child welfare system in the State’s COVID-19 response.
In their letter to Governor Cuomo, the group highlights the significant ways the pandemic has impacted the thousands of children and families involved in New York’s child welfare system, including lack of access to the technology necessary to complete school work, visitation for children in foster care, and to receive health and other services, as well as new financial strain for families, young people, and direct care staff.
The group calls upon the Governor to take a series of actions to support children, youth and families, including:
- Enacting a temporary moratorium on “aging out” of foster care, with the appropriate funding attached, so that no young people are forced from foster care without a permanent family during the pandemic.
- Providing COVID-19 Emergency Response Pay for foster parents, frontline staff and reunified families to recognize the essential nature of their roles, and the increased expense that this work has required.
- Ensuring that children and families are equitably connected to the tools and technology they need to stay connected.
- Restoring funding support for local kinship caregiver programs.
- Ensuring young people with current and previous foster care experience can access the benefits to which they are entitled, including financial, housing and other benefits.
- Addressing delays in permanency by making hearings essential business for Family Court.
Research has demonstrated that kids placed in permanent homes have greater success in school, develop formative relationships and experience less challenges with mental health issues. The child welfare impacts of this pandemic will be long-lasting and will result in new and significant challenges for children and families. New York must bolster families with the tools and supports they need to help lessen the significant stress of this pandemic.
CHAMPS-NY is a statewide group of advocates and providers working to promote state policy and practice change that ensures that when children must enter foster care, they are placed into family-based settings whenever possible, and that their caregivers are supported so that children experience the best possible permanency and well-being outcomes.