DCF seeing kids coming into care with COVID-19, need foster parents who can help

BOSTON (WHDH) - The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families says it has seen an increasing number of children coming into their care that are in need of foster parents who can help.

“We are starting to see, in the last couple weeks, more kids coming into care who are either testing positive for COVID 19 or presumed to be positive.”

Adriana Zwick, a long time social worker and union president for the Department of Children and Families, says a positive diagnosis is making it harder for workers to find those children a temporary home.

“We definitely need to find foster homes who are going to be able to quarantine children,” says Zwick. ‘Foster parents, who are our biggest resource and who are wonderful people are nervous and many of them have felt that for now, they’re not able to take any more kids because they need to protect the ones they need to have in the house right now.

Zwick says although DCF has been able to identify some group homes with beds, that doesn’t help infants.

“If we have infants coming into care who are positive for COVID-19 or presumed positive, it’s been a real challenge to find placement for those children. That results, unfortunately in my members driving around for hours waiting for, eventually hopefully, a foster parent to step forward and take the child,” says Zwick.

So Zwick is asking for foster families to come forward and tell their social worker. For those interested in fostering to sign up, because the state is still recruiting.

And something else DCF wants parents to think about, come up with a COVID-19 plan.

“Identify a family member or a neighbor or perhaps the family of your child’s friend. Anyone that would be willing to, in the event that you become ill, be willing to step forward and care for that child,” says Zwick.

Zwick says many of the state’s COVID positive kids are being removed for abuse or neglect, but in some cases, it’s because the parent did not have a COVID-19 plan.

“We had a situation where a child was removed and placed into care because there was no alternative plan identified,” says Zwick. “Their caretaker became ill and had to go to the hospital and that child didn’t have any place to go.”

And that’s why a plan can help.

“We don’t want to get involved in those cases,” says Zwick.

If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, you can find more information here.

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