(WYTV) – With schools closed for the COVID-19 pandemic, many foster care systems are concerned that the number of referrals or reports of abuse has gone down.
That’s a concern for Ohio MENTOR, a private foster care agency that operates in the Valley. Executive Director Chip Bonsutto said the number of calls they’ve received has gone down for young and school-age children.
They suspect that is because kids aren’t getting the help they need at school or other outside programs.
Ohio MENTOR worries that those safety nets are gone, which means the kids are losing their voices.
They said the need for foster parents is always there, even during a pandemic.
“I think right now is a time that kids need to be told, ‘you’re going to be okay, we’re going to get through this and this is a safe place for you,’ and for too many kids right now, I think, that safe place issue is in question,” Bonsutto said. “We still need [foster parents]. Their neighbors still need them. The children of Ohio still need them.”
If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a foster parent, Ohio MENTOR is hosting a free webinar next Wednesday at 6 p.m.
You can sign up for the webinar by clicking here.