With COVID-19 spreading into Washington’s system of foster care group homes, operators of the facilities say they are in a precarious position and fear “retaliation” by state child-welfare officials who ended state funding to a home that turned away foster youth sickened by the coronavirus.
All across the country, there’s been an upsurge in calls and texts to helplines as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. As people adapt to the new normal, they are reaching out to helplines with questions and concerns about employment, food banks, mental health and domestic violence. While efforts are being made to address these concerns and deal with the mental health toll that the pandemic is causing, some experts worry that not enough is being done.
| With Crosscut
The coronavirus pandemic has translated into severe unhappiness for parents of children taken into Washington State’s foster-care system who no longer are able in most cases to have in-person contact with their children. Court rulings from around the state are in conflict, and parents who lost their kids to the foster care system — most because they were simply too poor to adequately care for them — are bringing legal challenges to Gov. Jay Inslee’s emergency stay-at-home proclamation’s effect on their ability to have regular in-person visits.
| With Crosscut
Coronavirus could seriously hamper Washington’s ability to fight wildfires as agencies focus on organizing a response to the global pandemic. Despite concerns that the 2020 wildfire season could be worse than 2019’s, agencies that usually plan for fires and recruit firefighters in early spring are instead helping organize Washington’s response to COVID-19. Social-distancing concerns could mean a lower turnout of firefighters.