Our Alliance-led coalition continued its state advocacy, requesting action to address impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic recognizing that it may be many more months before individuals are active within their communities. The efforts we have made to convert to remote styles of communication and case management are likely to persist even if the current stay at home orders are lifted or modified.
The coalition requested the following actions be taken through either urgency legislation or the budget bill in order to support children in foster care and families as we continue to move through these unprecedented times:
Increase amount of foster care payment (AFDC-FC, ARC or Emergency Caregiver) by $400 for at least six months and ensure adequate financial support for families during the crisis by allowing individuals to access multiple aid programs
Access to technology for parents, caregivers and youth
Increased flexibility to approve placements and reduced backlogs
Support non-profit community-based organizations and congregate care providers to ensure our child welfare system maintains robust provider capacity
Resources to support anticipated increase in calls to county emergency hotlines
Resources for youth transitioning to adulthood
These short-term policies will address the significant real-time impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on children and youth in foster care.