It has been 6 weeks since America went into a declared national emergency. This has had impact on every sector of society, and has especially impacted out of home care services like foster care in the US. We wanted to share some key articles for anyone looking for information on how this sector has been touched by the virus.
Foster Care & Aging Out in the United States:
A series of essays by current and former foster youth has been compiled by The Chronicle of Social Change, you can read their experiences here.
Changes in "Aging Out" protocols have been reconsidered in light of the virus across the US, here is some information about whats happening in California, Ohio, and Rhode Island and as actions are taken state by state you will be able to read more specifically about what's happening in your state (if anything). Aging out programs across the United States differ drastically, and likely the state by state response will too. The Annie E. Casey Foundation released this recommendation on how child welfare leaders should try to support young adults currently exiting foster care, a great article on current, important issues these young adults may face.
An increase of abuse is expected in the US, as well as challenges with securing new foster parents. Virginia and Texas have shared specific information and The Chronicle of Social Change published this piece that explains some of the challenges faced by families in crisis and issues that are impacting how foster care is being conducted.
Thoughts from Organizations Around the world:
Romania: in Romania orphanages have been placed under complete quarantine, and adoptions were briefly paused. We are praising the Lord with Romania Reborn that, despite the governments decision that adoptions and foster care placements were a non-essential function of their child welfare system, a newborn baby they notified their prayer chain about was able to be placed with a family rather than enter the orphanage system. Please continue to pray with Romania Reborn that their organization will be able to resume helping get children in crisis into loving foster or adoptive families during this crisis.
India: Invisible Girl Project, which fights gendercide in south Asia, has shared this update about how COVID-19 does not stop the need for their organization / how they need continued support. They share several articles on Twitter about how COVID-19 is impacting women in India and south Asia.
Russia: The Harbor in St. Petersburg Russia shared this update, with some insight on their organization and Russia as a whole. Very specific prayer requests are included in the update.
Thank you to those who have been tracking and compiling this information on a day to day basis. We have been following the resources below and highly recommend you follow their work if you're interested in how this virus continues to impact the child welfare sector.
Resources we recommend for further reading:
The Chronicle of Social Change
The Foster Care Daily
Aging Out Institute
Finding Resources & Help:
Together We Rise
Think of Us
How you can pray:
-Pray for youth leaving foster care while this crisis is happening. Pray that their needs would be met, and that they would encounter the Lord in this time.
-Pray for youth who are currently in foster care and missing their families, their routines, and their friends.
-Pray for foster parents and social workers and those in government who will make pivotal decisions over the next days and weeks.
-Pray for children involved in orphanages and foster care around the world. For their safety, peace, and for their caregivers.
-Praise the Lord for His sovereignty. If we know nothing else about today or tomorrow, except that He is in control, that is something we can praise Him about. Our time here is brief, not promised, and we have this moment to glorify Him. "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last." Revelation 22:13
-Know that we're praying for you, friends and readers. You have impact, you have opportunity, you are loved. It's ok to acknowledge that this is a difficult, frustrating, worrisome time. We encourage you to bring those things to the Father.
"Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?" -Psalm 56:3-4