Adoptive and Foster Family Coalition to Publish Results from Statewide Foster Parents Survey
Report finds one third of New York's foster parents struggling with lost jobs/pay cuts due to pandemic.
Scheduled to be released on November 18, 2020, the report is the result of a several months' long effort by the state's adoptive and foster parent association, AFFCNY, to capture the economic and racial profiles of the foster families caring for the state's most vulnerable children. The survey also provided a unique window where parents could have their voices heard and share details about the personal challenges facing their families and the children in their care during a global pandemic.
A total of 656 foster parents responded, reporting significant impacts on their economic status as a result of COVID-19 and the current levels of state subsidies. Among other alarming results one third of foster families are struggling with lost jobs and/or pay cuts due to the pandemic, close to one fifth of the respondents statewide reported that one or both foster parents lost jobs due to COVID-19 and over sixteen percent reported that one or both parents had taken a pay cut due to COVID-19. Additionally, racial backgrounds of both foster families and the children they serve were gathered, providing a realistic picture of the states' extremely diverse foster families.
Funded and designed by the organization, renowned adoption researcher, Madelyn Freundlich, volunteered her time and expertise to author the report. The report tells tales of families' frustrations with marked decreases in support services as well as the families' remarkable degree of resilience.
Initially distributed from August 6, 2020 through September 30, 2020, the data collection period was extended until October 10, 2020 to capture additional responses from New York City foster parents. As New York City families were underrepresented in comparison to the rest of the state when the initial results were tabulated, a targeted outreach to New York City foster parents included partnering with the New York City Administration of Children's Services for survey distribution. In the end, respondents represented all New York State counties with almost one-quarter (23.3%) of the respondents residing in New York City. Preliminary research indicates that this is the largest statewide survey specifically targeting foster parents.
The published report will be available to the public on the Coalition's website, https://www.AFFCNY.org. on the release date.
PAT O’BRIEN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR