Foster care agencies limit face-to-face meetings in response to COVID-19 pandemic

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — The COVID-19 pandemic for everyone is an uncertain time, especially for kids in the foster care system.

To battle the stress associated with the pandemic, Braley & Thompson Foster Care increased their video chats to twice a week to check on the kids. Home finder Tiffany Everette said with many laid off during this pandemic, foster families are especially hit hard.

“Families are feeling some stress from this,” Everette said. “When we certify foster families, you have to make sure they have an income, and they are able to support children without unnecessary stipends or reimbursement.”

For children getting ready to age out of the system during the pandemic, the agency is not forcing them to leave their homes. They are also providing the option to sign an FC18, which allows CPS to provide housing up until they are 21 and assist with college.

“With the fact with not knowing where they might go due to the Coronavirus… they are able to have a stable place to live,” Everette said. “Whether that’d be at a foster home for a little bit longer or the shelter.”

With no face-to-face visits due to social distancing, Braley & Thompson is looking to allow kids to communicate with their birth family in some way, as long as it is approved by a CPS case worker.

“Not only do the parents who don’t have their children right now need it, but the children very much need to be talking with their biological families,” Everette said. “It can help relieve a lot of stress and maybe a lot of the behaviors you are seeing from the children.”

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