Connecting Children and Youth with their Families During COVID-19: Perspectives of Child Welfare Workers and Foster Parents

Sarah Maiter, Derrick Ssewanyana, Daniel Kikulwe, Christa Sato

The authors explore approaches, challenges, solutions, and recommendations offered by child welfare workers in Canada on remote communication with children/youth regarding safety and on managing parent–child access during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thirty-seven child welfare workers and foster care providers participated in this survey.

About 94% of the workers used virtual video communication alongside other modalities. Privacy concerns were common in children and youth contacts. Visitation scheduling challenges, digital inequality, and fear of contagion were commonly encountered by foster care providers. Regular virtual check-ins by child welfare workers, training on use of online meeting tools, and subsidizing technological costs were notable recommendations.

Connecting children and youth with their families during COVID-19: perspectives of child welfare workers and foster parents