As the largest legal services organization in the District, Children's Law Center reaches more than 5,000 children and families each year. We represent about half of all kids in DC's foster care system and have made it a top priority to ensure the health and safety of children in foster care is not forgotten during this crisis.
In an interview on The Kojo Nnamdi Show, CLC Policy Director Sharra E. Greer -- along with fellow guests DC Child and Family Services Agency Director Brenda Donald and Alison Gilbreath of Voices for Virginia's Children -- discussed the impact of the public health crisis on DC's child welfare services. Sharra shared CLC's success in advocating for youth at risk of aging out of foster care during the pandemic, gave insights into the challenges of virtual visits, and emphasized the importance of ensuring families and children have access to mental health supports.
At a stressful time for all families, we will continue to advocate for both financial and mental health supports to alleviate the stressors that could lead to a child entering the foster care system.
"We really need to be doing what we can to support families. It means dealing with issues of job loss and food insecurity and all of the things that are compounding the stress on families, which increases the likelihood of abuse and neglect.
"It's also really important that we make sure people are accessing mental health services and supports -- and those are available. Both children and parents need ways to work through a lot of the very scary and difficult things that are happening in the world around them," shared Sharra.
Photo credit: Lance Shields/Flickr (via The Kojo Nnamdi Show)