The NGO Committee on the Family New York invites you to attend

Families Coping with COVID: Challenges & Opportunities in Child Welfare

Thursday, November 19th, 2020, 1 – 2PM EST (New York Time)

Please join us for presentations by

Edward Ross Aranow Clinical Professor of Law, Director of the Adolescent Representation Clinic,
Columbia University School of Law

JEANETTE VEGA Assistant Director of Training and Policy, Rise

IMANI WORTHY Parent Leader

(Click through for concept note)

Families around the world are struggling with the added pressures of the COVID-19 health crisis due to the effects of job losses, changes in schooling, and affected family members. The pandemic has also heightened disparities, including those found in the child welfare system. Families experiencing poverty or which are members of ethnic or racial minority groups are often subject to more state intervention, including family separation, often due to the difficult choices required by their situations. COVID-related limitations on proceedings and family time between separated parents and children risk long term effects on children’s wellbeing.

Recent government guidance prioritizing family reunification, barring procedural delays, and requiring family time visits to continue for children’s wellbeing may offer a stepping stone to a better process for families in need. Professor Jane Spinak identifies in this context an opportunity to reexamine current interventions and shift to supporting, rather than reporting, families. Jeanette Vega, Assistant Director of Training and Policy at Rise will provide insights from her experience in the court system for child welfare and discuss the policies they promote to support families, reduce family separation and prevent unneeded system engagement, and provide the best support for family reunification. Parent Leader Imani Worthy will share insights from her own experience of the court system and advocacy work to strengthen families and recognize their role as the primary support system. These perspectives present an opportunity to refocus our understanding of the child welfare system towards assisting and empowering families.

A recording of this session is on our YouTube channel at