When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in the spring
of 2020, staff of Every Child, Inc. knew that they
needed to find a way to support foster (resource)
families caring for children who were staying at
home and not going to school. Utilizing technology
and good old-fashioned ingenuity to enhance and
continue services during this time, the foster care
teams implemented a variety of virtual supports.
Sessions designed to help children work through
barriers to permanency are being held via Zoom
across multiple homes so that siblings can interact
and receive the benefits of the service together.
These sessions, called child prep, also involve
helping children create a life book that details their
life up to now and helps them look forward to the
future. Some caseworkers are putting together child
prep craft packets, dropping them off and then
meeting with the children online to do the projects
One foster family has used virtual visits to help
establish a better relationship with the child’s birth
mother, who, before the pandemic, had not been
in contact. As she has come to accept the need for
help with her child, virtual visits have allowed the
foster and birth families to have discussions about
maintaining the relationship and keeping lines of
communication open. They’ve worked together to
change visitation days so that the birth parent can
visit on holidays and even on the child’s birthday.
The caseworker believes this wouldn't have
happened without virtual visits.
Foster care caseworkers each chose families for
whom they created Easter magic. They filled and
hid Easter eggs in the foster families' front yards so
that the children could wake up to find them and
experience some joy during this difficult time.
For Mother's Day and Father's Day, children in
foster care (and their foster siblings) were given the
opportunity to make gifts for both their foster and
birth parents. The gifts were then sent to the birth
families. The children and all the parents loved it!