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Coronavirus impacting foster care system in Monroe County

Raven Brown
Updated: April 29, 2020 05:28 PM
Created: April 29, 2020 04:17 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The coronavirus is impacting foster care in Monroe County.

“We were actually just waiting for our final court date and that’s when COVID-19 hit,” Renee Rossi said. 

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Renee Rossi and her husband Trevor luckily have their two kids with them at home but cannot officially adopt or finalize the process because the courts are closed. She said her oldest son is handling it well but it’s been hard for the youngest one.

“Just explaining to him so he knows you know to have the confidence that we are moving forward we’re just waiting on the courts,” Rossi said. “But in little minds out of the foster system, fear and doubt and everything kicks in.”

For other families, the process went on hold before they could bring them home.

Children Awaiting Parents program manager Veronica Black-Turner said the kids are struggling to understand why parents can’t visit and what’s going on during this pandemic. 

“It’s almost like abandonment, you know they are visiting a family and all of a sudden everything stops,” Black-Turner said. “You know they don’t know the difference and they need the extra support to help them through this time.”

She said there’s a projection out there that when the COVID-19 pandemic ends we may see an increase in children coming into care.

“We do understand that although we are at a standstill the lives of our children don’t stop. The trauma that they're experiencing. It’s not stopping the kids still need that forever family,” Black-Turner said.

She said despite the pause, caseworkers are still providing online training for families, remote social work and virtual visit for children.

If you’re interested in fostering or training for adoption, click here.


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