Thursday, March 26, 2020

NCCPR news and commentary round-up: Response to COVID-19 edition

To the surprise of no one, most of the stories and columns this week focus on child welfare’s response to COVID-19.  But nothing better sums up that response than this tweet from the Movement for Family Power:


I have a column in Youth Today with an overview: Canceled visits, court hearings to take children away but not to send them home, no regard for the increased risk children will catch the virus when they’re taken away, agencies that seem more interested in where their next check is coming from than where the kids are going.  In short, Child Welfare’s Response to COVID-19 is Sickening.

● The Shriver Center on Poverty Law and several other law and advocacy groups have a great letter about how child welfare officials should be responding.  What is truly disheartening is that it ever needed to be written – and in particular that child welfare agencies actually need to be asked not to count it against parents if the parents can’t jump through all the required hoops -- when the agency’s own response to COVID-19 took away the hoops. 

The Marshall Project has an excellent overview of the impact of COVID-19 on child welfare – including the effects many other such stories leave out, such as the harm to children of wholesale cancellation of visits and trapping them even longer in group homes because the hearings to send them home have been canceled.  NPR also did a good job on this, particularly concerning visits.

● NCCPR Board Member Marty Beyer has a column in the Chronicle of Social Change on the importance of maintaining such visits, and how best to make them work now.  The Chronicle continues to track new developments.

And in other news:

Rise interviews Kelis Houston founder of Village Arms, on her efforts to get the Minnesota Legislature to pass the African American Family Preservation Act.