The COVID-19 pandemic has already wrecked greater havoc in poor neighborhoods of color, where pre-existing conditions exacerbate the disease’s spread. Crowded housing and homelessness, less access to health care and insurance, and underlying health conditions are all factors that worsen the chances of remaining healthy.Workers desperate for income continue to work without sufficient protective measures, moving in and out of these neighborhoods, putting themselves and their families at risk. During periods of greater disruption, tensions are heightened and violence more prevalent. Already some experts are warning of an onslaught of child maltreatment cases, citing earlier examples of spikes in foster care during drug epidemics and economic recessions. Instead of panicking, thinking creatively and thoughtfully about appropriate responses and using the information and resources we already have may help to diminish such fears and improve the safeguards that are needed to protect the integrity of families and keep children safe.
Jane M. Spinak,
Child Welfare and COVID-19: An Unexpected Opportunity for Systemic Change,
Law in the Time of COVID-19, Katharina Pistor, Ed. Columbia Law School, 2020
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/faculty_scholarship/2685