Connecticut’s Child Welfare System Conscious It Will Need to Keep Pivoting

Back • Publication Date: March 31, 2020 •

How do you check on a child who lives in a home flagged as abusive during a global pandemic? How do you coordinate visits between children living in foster care and their parents when that visit could spread a disease? How do you continue in-home psychiatric care for a child with a diagnosed mental illness and ensure the health of the child, family and the care provider?

With the quick onset of the coronavirus pandemic in Connecticut, agencies on the frontlines of the state’s child welfare system have had to adapt quickly to be able to deliver its services. The Connecticut Department for Children and Families (DCF) began issuing guidelines and policies on how its staff and community partners should operate before the state announced its first case. They’ve issued regular updates since. 

Advocates and community partners laud their efforts, saying the department has been transparent and communicative from the start. No one has experience providing services to children and families in need during a pandemic, they said. The state has entered uncharted territory and DCF has been adapting the best they can.

Lauren Ruth, the research and policy director of Connecticut Voices for Children, said she thinks DCF is taking the proper precautions to both protect their workers’ health and the children they serve while also fulfilling their mandate. Her organization, the “think and do tank,” focuses on helping families and children with economic justice. But she said she thinks there is no perfect solution and that DCF is going to have to keep re-evaluating their response as the crisis takes unexpected twists and turns in the coming weeks and months….

Authors: Clarissa Sosin •  Source: Youth Today • View