We are living through uncertain times. Many people feel un-moored from their usual sources of confidence that all will be well. Children who have been adopted or are in foster care find their worlds upended. Lacking consistency, routine, and an overall feeling of stability and security as their personal worlds are being shaken up again by the Coronavirus and the efforts to contain the spread of that infection.
Schools have closed and public community events through which diverse people usually bond are cancelled. Instead of joining together in common experience we are forced to isolate ourselves from one another. At least we have modern technology to keep us connected while maintaining a safe distance from one another but life is not routine or what we would conventionally expect as we wake up each day.
For those parents who still have jobs to go to while their children are alone at home, the struggle can be significant.
One of the responsibilities that foster parents face is transporting the children in their home to visitations with their birth parents and biological family members. Often times, visitations take place at child welfare offices, while other times, visitations may occur at public places, such as parks, restaurants, churches, and other public venues. Visitations are important as they help to maintain the relationship between both child and adult. Along with this, many foster parents have very strong relationships with the birth parents and during visitations, trust is built and children can grow and develop in a healthy fashion, as a result.
Yet, those public spaces are now closed to most of us in most locations throughout the United States. And coming out of the usual wintertime season of colds and flu can complicate things because many of us have all had one thing or another since Thanksgiving and our immunity is generally low. Essential services such as therapy sessions, drug counseling, and even court appearances have also been affected by Covid 19.
All families face difficulty at this time in our collective history and families with the additional challenges of trauma and regulations face an additional burden on top of the difficulties they face every day. All families are concerned, and confused, looking for answers and receiving little guidance. There is no school, foster care related visits are being cancelled, church services are cancelled, and generally all children are now isolated from the friends they depend upon in their everyday lives. The challenge in an era of social distancing is physical, and tangible, but can’t be solved by throwing dollars at it.
Stay safe, be well. Come together – though at a distance. Keep the efforts to slow the spread of this virus going until the assurance that it is once again safe to have greater contact with our fellow human beings becomes more certain. Patience is necessary and flexibility too.