Coronavirus roils every segment of US child welfare system

Virus Outbreak Child Welfare
Posted at 3:50 PM, Mar 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-28 18:51:30-04

NEW YORK — Child welfare agencies across the United States are scrambling to confront new challenges arising because of the coronavirus outbreak.

For caseworkers, there are physical risks as well as an emotional toll. Child welfare workers in several states, including Michigan, Massachusetts, New York and Washington, have tested positive for the virus. Many agencies have cut back on in-person inspections at homes of children considered at risk of abuse and neglect. Instead, visits are now often done through videoconferencing.

Parents of children already in foster care are losing their chances for weekly visits. And slowdowns at family courts are burdening some of those parents with agonizing delays in reunifying with their children.