COVID-19 PUTTING STRESS ON CHILD WELFARE SYSTEM

Almost 14,000 children are in the custody of the state of Missouri through no fault of their own. When a child is removed from their home to keep them safe from abuse and neglect, they are placed in a foster home or residential care. The COVID-19 pandemic is placing extraordinary stressors on these children and the people and organizations caring for them. Both the children and those responsible for them need assistance. 

The costs to the families and organizations caring for these children have increased as we all struggle with keeping them safe. Meals served in schools are now being provided in foster homes and in residential facilities. Organizations like Cornerstones of Care have many team members working on the frontlines in residential care, transitional living and providing in-home intervention services

Human services professionals need protective personal equipment (PPE) such as masks, gloves and gowns to do their work safely in order to provide stability in these very uncertain times. While technology and cleaning expenses have also increased, revenue losses are also being experienced.

What Are Our Legislators Doing?

Missouri is receiving more than $6.5 billion in federal aid from the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The Supplemental Budget approved by the Missouri General Assembly and signed by the Governor supports Missouri’s human services organizations and individuals who are caring for children in state custody. The state legislature reconvened on April 27 for three weeks to work on the Fiscal Year 2021 budget and other matters. 

How Can I Help?

Missouri residents should review this fact sheet on COVID-19's impact on children in the state’s care and those who care for them. Then call or email your state senator or legislator to let them know you support temporarily increasing payments to foster families and residential care providers, as well as providing assistance to accessing and paying for PPE.


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