Foster Parent Resource Guide

The coronavirus pandemic has created anxiety and uncertainty for all of us. For youth in foster care and foster and kinship caregivers there may be additional concerns and trauma that make coping with the pandemic even more delicate. We hope the following resources can provide support, guidance and answers to some of your questions.

If you have specific questions about a child in your care, please contact the child’s primary worker or your resource manager.

You may also refer to our general COVID-19 Parent Resource Guide for additional info on neighborhood resources, food, education, online activities and more.

DCFS Letter to Caregivers About Family Visits 3/11/2020

Child Mind Institute: Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus – Kids worry more when they’re kept in the dark.

National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Supporting Children During Coronavirus (PDF) - Offers ways to support children and talk to them about COVID-19. This fact sheet describes how to start a conversation with children about COVID-19, correct inaccurate information, encourage children to ask questions and how to answer them, help children self-regulate, and outlines common reactions, how to stay connected, practice self-care, and what to do if you need extra help.

Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope with The Coronavirus Disease (PDF) - Provides information for parents and caregivers about infectious disease outbreaks in your community. Knowing important information about the outbreak and learning how to be prepared can reduce stress and help calm likely anxieties. This resource will help parents and caregivers think about how an infectious disease outbreak might affect their family— both physically and emotionally—and what they can do to help their family cope.

Simple Activities for Children and Adolescents (PDF) - Offers activity ideas to parents and caregivers whose families are sheltering in place, social distancing, and homeschooling due to school closures amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.

COVID-19 Time Capsule (PDF)

Quality Parenting Initiative Resource Series: "COVID19: The New Normal"

A set of Quality Parenting Initiative (QPI) based resources created to support parents, birth resource foster and kin, youth and staff, connected to the child welfare system. These will include a weekly webcast and daily online resources distributed to our QPI community via email and social media. This series is particularly focused on meeting the needs of families, who are often hard to reach. Below is a schedule of webinar topics. As the situation around COVID-19 continues to evolve, there is a possibility that the following topics may be subject to change.

  • Week of April 12th: Keeping teens connected to friends and family using tech.
  • Week of April 19th: Ensuring youth who receive special education obtain services and maintain educational progress. 
  • Week of April 26th: Keeping older youth on track for college including SAT, college applications, coursework issues.
  • Week of May 3rd: Coordinating with Qualified Legal Services Provider (QSLP) on employment issues and unemployment insurance.
  • Week of May 10th: Supporting young children and their families.
  • Week of May 17th: Maintaining relationships between children and families over distance

Just in Time Training - Cuyahoga County's Just in Time Training is a web-based service program designed to connect foster parents, kinship or other caregivers with training, peer experts and other resources.

Practical Guidance for Navigating COVID-19 (video) - To provide the most updated information, the Center for Child Welfare is working to answer questions regarding the Coronavirus such as the overall health education on prevention, recommended steps for working with children on appropriate preventive and sick role behaviors, dispelling current myths, and identifying the best resources to obtain accurate updates and information. This webinar will also specifically address questions & answers from caregivers and frontline staff working in the child welfare system.

Ohio Department of Health

Coping with COVID-19 Anxiety - Resources to help you deal with the stress and mental toll of the COVID-19 outbreak.  

Kids and COVID-19 - The COVID-19 pandemic can be overwhelming for parents and concerning to kids. ODH recommends that parents and others who work with kids to talk about COVID-19 with kids in a way that children will understand. 

Centers for Disease Control

Stress and Coping - The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children.

Caring for Children - Tips to keep children healthy while school’s out.

Talking to Children about COVID-19 - As public conversations around coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) increase, children may worry about themselves, their family, and friends getting ill with COVID-19. Parents, family members, school staff, and other trusted adults can play an important role in helping children make sense of what they hear in a way that is honest, accurate, and minimizes anxiety or fear. CDC has created guidance to help adults have conversations with children about COVID-19 and ways they can avoid getting and spreading the disease.  

Ohio Department of Education Children in foster care face many educational barriers, including traumatization, high mobility, and undiagnosed behavioral and health conditions. This site has guidance, presentations and resources for foster parents.

Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities Information for parents of children with special needs.