Alabama foster care system feeling affects from the COVID-19 outbreak

Health Connect America directors say there’s an urgent need for foster parents now
Alabama foster care system is struggling during the coronavirus outbreak
Alabama foster care system is struggling during the coronavirus outbreak(Jenna)
Updated: Mar. 26, 2020 at 6:11 PM CDT
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TENNESSEE VALLEY, Ala. (WAFF) - There are more than 6,700 foster children in the state of Alabama, and only about 1,500 foster parents.

Health Connect America, a local foster care connection facility, says there’s an urgent need for foster parents since the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We don’t have the way that we used to be able to recruit. We’re reaching out in any way we can to find those foster parents cause it’s hard to find them anyway and with the virus it’s increased the challenge.” ELLEN

Ellen Weatherford, director of operations at Health Connect America says the staff is working to go the extra mile to recruit more foster parents.

Last week, the Alabama Legislature passed a bill allowing centers like this to recruit over the phone and video chat.

“We can still teach the classes to the potential foster parents and we can still license them, so we’re not on complete shut down thank goodness," Weatherford said.

There are several foster care shelters in North Alabama, including one in Hartselle, Florence and Madison.

Weatherford says, using teleconferencing has been helpful, however they’re still trying to find more people to help their kids in need.

“We need you to open your hearts and your homes and look at, this is a time where maybe you didn’t have the time before to become a foster parent because the classes were at a set time and now we have the opportunity to reach you at your home and you don’t have to go anywhere," Weatherford explained.

Health Connect America has an abundance of resources. Click here to learn more about becoming a foster parent.

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