Coronavirus is roiling every part of child welfare system

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NEW YORK (AP) — Child welfare agencies in the U.S. have a difficult mission in the best of times, and now they’re scrambling to confront new challenges during the coronavirus outbreak.

For caseworkers, the potential toll is physical and emotional. Child welfare workers in several states, including Michigan, Massachusetts, New York and Washington, have tested positive for the virus.

Many agencies have cut back on in-person inspections at homes of children considered at risk of abuse and neglect. Parents of children already in foster care are losing their chances for weekly visits.

And slowdowns at family courts are burdening some of those parents with agonizing delays in reunifying with their children.

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