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Cover Letter COVID-19

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Dear Congressional Staff,
 
Voice for Adoption advocates for the 123,000 children waiting to be adopted from foster care in the United States. As a 25-year-old foster and adoptive advocacy organization, we champion effective policy and practice for all children touched by the child welfare system. Right now these children face serious risks of harm.
 
As you well know, COVID-19 has affected all Americans in many significant ways. But its impact on children in foster care, kinship care, and adoption is particularly harsh:
  • Systems may not have the ability to proceed with prospective parent orientations, trainings, or home studies, delaying family placements.
  • Children in foster care may not be able to visit birth family or see their caseworkers, which can be further traumatizing.
  • Children in group care or institutions, like older people in assisted living facilities, cannot effectively do social distancing, putting them at increased risk for contracting the disease.
  • Families will lose access to in-person support services for themselves and their children, increasing stress levels for all, but particularly for children who have experienced trauma.
  • Children in the care of older relatives risk another traumatic move if their caretakers fall ill or die.
  • Young people who have aged out of foster care often have no one to care for them if they do fall ill.
  • Youth who were in foster care and are in college are also being affected by COVID-19. School closings and dorm closures are harming these children’s’ housing and food sources that they depend on, leaving them in the same situations that the children who have aged out of foster care without proper support face.
For these reasons, Voice for Adoption asks for your support to dedicate funds for child welfare in the current stimulus package to help these children and families who desperately need assistance.
 
Children have long been a nonpartisan issue. It will take leaders from every sector of American life to make sure that America’s foster and adopted children are protected as we have sworn to do when they were taken into care. We must bolster our support for front line child welfare workers, strengthen the social safety nets to ensure resilience and health are possible, and send a message that is clear for all Americans—we are a nation that believes that our children are the future and we must do what is necessary for the well-being of the child at all costs.
 

I urge you to review the Dear Colleague letterfrom Representatives Langevin, Bass, and Bacon who have come together to speak on behalf of our nation's children and families involved with foster care and adoption. We must prevent more children from entering the system and protect those already in it. Please heed the letter and let them know that you are there to support these measures.

 

Thank you for all you have done and continue to do for our nation’s children and God speed.

 

Sincerely, 

 

Schylar Baber, MPA

Executive Director, Voice for Adoption