By Anna Phillips | May 1, 2020 at 10:49 PM EDT – Updated May 3 at 10:10 AM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Some predict we’re going to see a critical need for new foster parents and families when life starts to get back to normal after COVID-19.
“While its not a crisis for us yet, I think the crisis is going to come when all these kids start going back to school, start getting back into the community,” said Katie Dishman with the Children’s Home Society of NC. “There’s going to be this overwhelming need, more than I think we’ve ever seen once things get back to kind of normal because that’s when all the referrals are going to come in to CPS, that’s when all these kids are going to come back with stories or issues or struggles and that’s going to get reported and those kids are going to come into foster care then.”
Schools are often a safe haven for children who are neglected at home.
“When it comes to what’s going on in the world right now, that’s I think our biggest fear is that there’s these kids that may not be seen, that are going to be seen and hopefully seen, when all this kind of wraps up,” Dishman said.
May is National Foster Care Month. Many agencies are transitioning to recruiting, interviewing and training families virtually.
Kate and Adam Nicholas have fostered 17 children and adopted 5 over the last four years.
Kate said, “it is challenging. There are a lot of challenges involved but it is incredibly rewarding and I would say that that is what probably keeps us going day after day and encouraging other people to become foster parents. I mean, the children are rewards in and of themselves but having the opportunity… to help rebuild families in the community and when that happens, when children do safely transition back home it’s incredibly rewarding to see the family brought back.”
If you see something concerning, you’re advised to report it.
“It’s no different than any other time,” said Alice Moore, with New Hanover County. “If you have a neighbor or if you were at the grocery store or you see some thing that’s concerning where you feel the child is unsafe, you would do what you would normally do. Go ahead and call DSS at 798-3400 and make a child protective services report. So, that hasn’t changed. People are still able to call and make those reports if they have any concerns of safety of children.”
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