While CWLA applauds Congress for the efforts made to contain the spread and impact of the pandemic, more aid is needed to protect children and families most at risk during this time and address the emerging needs of states and localities. Over the last month, CWLA has emphasized the real experiences that child welfare agencies and families are grappling with and the impact that this pandemic is having on nonprofit organizations, foster parents and foster youth, and caregivers.

CWLA’s letter to Congressional leaders was developed based on conversations with large and small groups of members. We would like to also share this descriptive letter on the immediate needs that children and families need now. This is an evolving situation, and we will be providing additional input both formally and informally, so please continue to let us know the concerns you are facing in carrying out your missions.

The urgent needs of today goes beyond old agendas since the world has been changed by COVID-19 that has shined a light on the need to address the importance of Medicaid and flexibility and targeted services that states and local entities can access. We need to make sure that families and children, under greater stress due to this pandemic are supported. We need support for the agencies that are called on to provide vital services, including investigations, in this current pandemic. We need to make sure that child welfare and child protection social workers and case managers are considered and supported as first responders to they can have protection and technological support to meet and help families and children.