1. New York Times: Foster Care Was Always Tough. Covid-19 Made It Tougher
“When a young person ages out of the system, we have in many ways already failed them,” said Rita Soronen, president and chief executive of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. “But this is even more true right now — there’s nothing like a crisis to show how truly vulnerable this group of young people are as they transition to adulthood.”
Data from around the country clearly show that child welfare agencies received fewer reports, conducted fewer investigations, and made fewer findings of child abuse or neglect in times and places where schools were virtual. This fact adds to the many other reasons to open all closed school buildings as soon as possible. Opposition from teachers and their unions has been a major reason for keeping schools virtual. It is understandable that teachers were reluctant to return to buildings. But now, availability of vaccines makes it possible for schools to reopen throughout the country without endangering teachers–as long as all teachers are offered the vaccine before returning to classrooms. The high costs to students of closed school buildings, among which undetected abuse should be included, mean that we should not wait any longer to bring students back to school in person.
Leave aside for a moment the trauma of witnessing violence, it should be acknowledged that kids who are living with men who beat their mothers are much more likely to be abused themselves.
Though the USA Today authors argue that “the child welfare system re-victimizes battered women,” the goal of child welfare is not to punish or reward mothers’ choices, but rather to protect children. It is hard to write an article from the perspective of young children, but that seems to be what’s missing here and in so much other journalism about intimate partner violence.
20,000+ young people will age out of #fostercare this year without a family. Many of them won’t have anyone they can call for advice or support.
— You Gotta Believe! (@adoptolderkids) December 17, 2020