New York City’s Foster Parents Need Easy Access to COVID-19 Testing
Join JCCA in calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio to ensure that New York City’s foster parents are given easy access to reliable, easy-to-administer antibody and/or COVID-19 testing. Sign your name onto the letter below.
*Only your name will be included on the petition.
Dear Mayor de Blasio,
We understand New York City is in the midst of an unprecedented crisis. During this unimaginable time, the City’s foster parents continue to provide critical housing, care and support to ensure the safety and well-being of the thousands of children placed into foster care.
As you know, the only way to ensure that children in foster and residential care may return to their families is by ensuring frequent family visits. During the coronavirus pandemic, agencies have been facilitating family contact virtually. However, there is understandably urgent concern about when face-to-face contact, up to and including unsupervised, weekend visits may recommence. The children in our care are particularly anxious in this regard.
Safe in-person visiting must be supported by access to reliable, easy-to administer antibody and/or COVID-19 testing for foster parents, foster children and their birth families. We all want to ensure that we are limiting the spread of the virus while we support critical family contact. As foster parents, we are asking for the following:
- Recognition as part of the essential workforce with the ability to access priority testing in city testing sites through 311.
- Easy access to testing. This can be accomplished either by setting aside certain times at city sites in the hardest hit communities for foster parents, or by the provision of mobile testing vans near foster care agencies specifically for foster parents.
Given that the children in our care were removed by the city, we have a collective obligation to ensure their safety and to act swiftly to reconnect them to their families. We are proud to be able to assist them in what is an incredibly challenging situation. However, we are writing to urge you to prioritize child welfare policies and procedures that keep us all safe. Most urgent is access to COVID-19 testing for foster families, foster children and birth families.
We look forward to working with your Administration on a long-term solution to these sector-wide needs.
Karen Mae Nicholson
Leslie Gloria Marcovitch