COVID-19 Reflections on Resilience and Reform in the Child Welfare System

Kele Stewart and Robert Latham - Fordham Urban Law Journal

Focusing on three critical facets of the U.S. child welfare system — reporting and investigating maltreatment, placement and other system metrics, and permanency — this Essay explores how the pandemic impacts the child welfare system and how the system should respond. Analyzing Florida’s public data and emergency policies, this Essay provides a more data-driven picture of the pandemic’s impact on the child welfare system during the first six months after states imposed stay-at-home policies. This Essay also contextualizes recommendations for how the system should respond within an analysis of how the system typically functions and reforms that were sought or implemented before the pandemic.