Coronavirus Is Forcing Parents of Kids in Foster Care to Go Months Without Visits

Last summer, Child Protective Services took Heather Osborne and Zach Cornette’s four kids from the motel where the family was living, and placed them in foster care. It was a turning point. The couple decided to enter treatment for meth addiction.

“It’s sad, but that’s what it took for us to see just how severely messed up our thinking was,” Osborne told VICE News. “By the grace of God, they got removed. I didn’t need them in my care, that’s for sure. I couldn’t even care for myself.”

The couple got stable housing through a recovery program. They stopped using drugs. In December, a judge said that their kids could visit on weekends. In-person visits are a mandated part of the couple’s case plan, as they work towards reuniting as a family.

Or at least they were before the coronavirus. Counties in South Central Ohio, where Osborne and Cornette live, suspended most in-person visits between parents and kids in foster care in early March due to fears they would spread the virus. Now, the couple is going through one of the most isolating periods in U.S. history without their kids.

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