A new report paints an uncertain picture for children, families and Pennsylvania’s child welfare system amid the COVID-19 pandemic, finding declines in child protective service reports and the number of children served in the state’s foster care system.
The report makes a number of recommendations to policymakers across a wide variety of program areas. But chief among them is improving the state’s efforts to hire and retain qualified workers.
“Front-line workers, those we think of as essential in our communities and across the Commonwealth, include the child welfare caseworkers who hold high-stress, low-reward jobs to help the children and families they serve,” King said. “During the pandemic and beyond, the foster care system works best when it works to keep families together and expedite permanency for foster youth.”