Family is a Compelling Reason by Jerry Milner and David Kelly

In a world where “social distancing” has become a necessary practice and the primary preventative measure for reducing the spread of coronavirus, we must remember that children in foster care and their families have already been “distanced” from each other.

Protecting family integrity may seem like an expendable effort – something to be put aside until the world changes. The fact is, every day that goes by with restrictions on family time, reduced availability of treatment or other services for parents and delays in reunification efforts is a threat to family integrity.

When children are removed from their parents, even when necessary for their safety, and artificial visiting arrangements are imposed that prevent parents from being parents and children from being children, they become distanced and that can be harmful to parents and children alike. The effects of such distancing shows up in trauma responses, in hopelessness, in destructive behaviors, in increasing needs for clinical interventions, and in repeated cycles of difficulty within families.

Read the full article by Jerry Milner, Associate Commissioner of the U.S. Children's Bureau and David Kelly, Special Assistant to the Associate Commissioner at the U.S. Children's Bureau. April 6, 2020. Article in Chronicle of Social Change.