In the Era of COVID-19: Foster Care and Managing Children in the System - May 19, 2020

boy with magnifying glassMay is National Foster Care Month. The purpose of this awareness month is to help everyone to identify the need to recognize the unique challenges of children in foster care (either in a residential setting or in a home setting) and identify concrete measures we can take to be helpful.

Although the needs of children in foster care are intense and unrelenting in the course of any year, the element of COVID-19 has introduced additional unstable variables. COVID-19 amplifies many of the pre-existing challenges which create the need for foster care in the first place. In sum, the purpose of National Foster Care Month is to underscore the fact that a child welfare system can and should prioritize temporary foster care as a service to families – even while family reunification remains the long-term goal in situations where this is possible.

Give InKind spoke to Richmond Arce, Senior Manager of Events and Public Relations for Astor Services for Children and Families. The mission of Astor is to provide behavioral health and education services offering the children the opportunity to meet life’s challenges, pursue their dreams, and reach their full potential. Astor serves a range of children from acute in-patient residential treatment programs, to head start academic support and other therapeutic offerings for a broad swath of New York State.