Maryland is experiencing the most serious spike in the number of reported Covid-19 illnesses and deaths since May of last year. In response, the Maryland Resource Parent Association is calling for an immediate 60 day-or-more suspension of the Maryland Dept. of Social Services requirement for in-person visits between foster children and their biological families.
The current visitation requirements ask Foster Parents to make a choice between the health of their families and the fulfillment of their duties as foster parents to the children they love and care for in their homes. MRPA has made this request for a hold on visitation in direct response to concerns expressed by foster parents throughout the state of Maryland, and with the unanimous support of the MRPA Executive Committee. This request is also in keeping with CDC guidelines discouraging contact with family members outside of one’s immediate household, and is in line with current Maryland protections for state court employees, DSS employees, and teachers.
We have formally made this recommendation to our contacts at the MD DHS, and will share their decision once available, we anticipate by the end of this week. Thank you for allowing us to voice your concerns on this matter. Together we can make strategic choices that will keep everyone in the foster care system in Maryland as safe as possible during this unprecedented time.
Executive Director MRPA