This statement is from Irene Clements, Executive Director of the National Foster Parent Association, to our membership, supporters, and advocacy network:
Family is the strongest source of comfort during times of uncertainty. As you focus on the well-being of your family we want you to know how seriously we take the trust you have in the National Foster Parent Association to be diligent in seeking appropriate information and supports and sharing that with you as new information or supports may be added to trustworthy websites from trustworthy agencies and organizations.
Over the past 50 years, we have walked many roads together with caregiver families in the foster care systems across this great country. Some we have chosen or anticipated, and others have taken us by surprise, such as the situation we find ourselves in now with the COVID-19 pandemic. There is much information available, and I hope you are taking advantage of those resources.
One such resource that may not have come to your attention yet is a great resource from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN). COVID-19 may have many family-related impacts on the families involved in the foster care world. Uncertainty, displacement, and disruption are by no means new to the foster care and child welfare systems. The children and families we serve are intimately familiar with these and face these feelings all the time. Additional stressors during this time may be access to needed individualized resources, impacts of disruptions in income, access to health or child care, and impacts of the added stress on kids and families who may be out of school or work for extended periods. Children away from the structure of school and daycare or around caregivers under greater stress may be more likely to experience abuse; sibling behavior problems may increase, etc. Please take this opportunity to review the information on the following link: https://www.nctsn.org/resources/parent-caregiver-guide-to-helping-families-cope-with-the-coronavirus-disease-2019
Please join the NFPA as we expand our day-to-day role in meeting our mission and our commitment to helping keep children and families safe and healthy across this country. For comments, questions, or concerns, please use the contact information available at the bottom of this Statement.