Foster care systems affected by pandemic

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HAGERSTOWN, Md (WDVM) – Foster children already face serious uncertainties about their future when there wasn’t a pandemic outside.

Now, adoption agencies and social services are changing their policies to ensure the health and stability of these children are not at risk.

Kristian Sekse at the Board of Child Care said they are closely following updates from the state and the CDC while also ensuring the emotional and physical development of children in their care.

“The very nature of our work means we must interact with our clients,” Sekse said. “That’s part of my role here is to manage how we can make our clients feel safe, supported, and engaged while schools and many aspects of their routines have been disrupted.”

Sekse said they have changed their visitation policies and are utilizing video calls for their regular check-ins with their foster families.

Director of Washington County Social Services, Mike Piercy, said they’ve refocused their department’s efforts to support current foster families and have postponed their recruitment of new families.

“We’ve had to suspend much of that recruitment, training, and certification because of the handicaps made by the coronavirus,” Piercy said. “We look at this as a temporary event.”

Piercy said they have not experienced any delays in care for children that need to enter care.

The Board of Child Care is facing shortages of Personal Protective Equipment for their healthcare workers and is accepting donations of masks and gowns for treating youth.

More information can be found at https://www.boardofchildcare.org/ppe-outreach/

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