CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Dozens of children in central Virginia are in need of a foster family. 78 children in Charlottesville city and 98 kids in Albemarle County are in the foster care system.
DePaul Community Resources is a nonprofit with a location in Charlottesville that provides foster care services to children of all ages in the area.
“One of the important things about our work is that it’s essential,” said regional recruiter Chris Thompkins.
When COVID-19 hit, DePaul had a more difficult time reaching families interested in fostering children.
“One of our first values as an agency is safety,” said Thompkins.
The next struggle was integrating children into families during a time where it was expected to socially distance.
With schools working remotely, they also noticed a drop in reported cases of child mistreatment.
“School personnel and counselors are often the first line of defense in reporting suspected issues of abuse and neglect,” Thompkins said.
Coming out of the pandemic, those cases are again being reported.
“The local DSS who has legal guardianship will then look for appropriate placements for families either within their own agencies or outside to private non profit child placing agencies like ourselves,” said Thompkins.
DePaul is asking people who live in and around Charlottesville to help children in the foster care system as the pandemic comes to an expected close.
Families who are interested in fostering or potentially adopting a child can reach out to DePaul Community Resources to find the steps to get involved.