During the pandemic, video chats replaced in-person visits between parents and their children placed in foster care. The effects could linger for years.
Youth lockups are supposed to rehabilitate kids, not punish them. The pandemic is making that harder than ever.
“Does anyone believe that rehabilitation can occur in a locked facility during a pandemic? What are we actually doing still holding children in facilities?”
Families fret about isolated youth behind bars: “There’s just nothing we can do. I get one of those parent intuitions, an intuition that he’s worried and upset. But there is just nothing that we can do.”
The foster care system, built on frequent movements of children from one home to another and regular in-person supervision, has been especially wracked with confusion and dread by the coronavirus crisis. New placements, family visits and child-abuse investigations falter across the country.