SALLY HO and CAMILLE FASSETT The Associated Press
SEATTLE (AP) — Leroy Pascubillo missed her daughter’s first steps, first words, and countless other milestones. Born of heroin addiction, she was taken to a foster home and tried to regain custody, counting the days before her return. But because of the pandemic, visits were reduced and virtualized, and all he could do was see his daughter (too young to get involved through a computer) trying to crawl up the screen.
According to the Associated Press, which analyzed child welfare data from 34 states, they were prevented from reuniting by foster care nationwide because courts delayed cases or were effectively or temporarily closed. Is one of the thousands of families.
The decline in children leaving foster care means that families stay in a temporary system for longer because important services are closed or restricted. According to experts, vulnerable families suffer long-term, perhaps irreparable damage, and parents can weaken their ties with their children.
According to AP analysis, the first few months of the pandemic saw at least 8,700 fewer reunions, a 16% reduction compared to the period from March to December of the previous year. Adoption also decreased by 23%. Overall, at least 22,600 children have left foster care compared to 2019.
“Everyone needed special help and no one got special help,” said Shawn Powell, coordinator of the Parents for Parents Advocacy Program in King County, Washington.
AP Analysis: COVID Extends Thousands of Foster Care Stays | Lifestyle
Source link AP Analysis: COVID Extends Thousands of Foster Care Stays | Lifestyle