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Foster care importance during pandemic in Nebraska

Updated: Jun. 1, 2021 at 5:20 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The pandemic has changed the look of foster care, but despite some of the challenges, it’s still important across the country and in the state of Nebraska.

According to Children’s Rights, on average there are nearly 424,000 children in foster care on any given day in the United States. The average age of those children entering foster care is eight years old.

At the Nebraska Foster and Adoptive Parent Association, the goal is to get immediate help to kids in need, and get them back to their families as soon as possible.

“Those kids love their parents, those parents love their kids,” said Nebraska Foster and Adoptive Parent Director Felicia Nelsen. “Whatever we can do to help get them over that and get them back together is what we’re doing.”

During the pandemic, kids haven’t been able to visit with their families in-person, making it more difficult for biological families to connect with their children.

The Nebraska Foster and Adoptive Parent Association told 10/11 NOW when kids come into foster care they normally arrange visits with their biological families. When the pandemic began, these kids weren’t able to visit their families.

While the visits themselves looked a bit different, the Foster and Adoptive Parent Association applauded Nebraska for the amount of visits offered when compared to other states.

“Foster families are stepping up and finding new ways to help these kids still have contact with their families, and that was really hard not only for the foster families, but for the kids that weren’t able to go have visits with their parents and siblings,” said Nelsen.

Zoom calls and video chats were used as a tool by foster parents to keep kids in contact with their biological families.

The Nebraska Foster and Adoptive Parent Association said they’re in need of more foster families to keep up with the amount of children in the system. You can find more on how to become a foster parent here.

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