COVID-19 Information for Foster Parents

Information for Providing Foster Care as Massachusetts Manages COVID-19

This page was last updated on March 30, 2020 and was updated to include information on Foster Parent-to-Foster Parent Emergency Child Care and opportunities to participate in virtual support groups and trainings.

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DCF is open for business.
  • Area offices are staffed by a small number of supervisors and staff during regular business hours,  Monday- Friday, 8:45 am – 5:00pm. 
  • All other DCF staff are working remotely. Workers are using phone, email and FaceTime to communicate with foster families- adults and children. Workers may also make an in-person visit as needed (see home visits below).
  • Click here to read DCF’s letter to foster parents regarding COVID-19.
Routine Communication

Your family resource worker and the social worker for a child remain your primary and best contact points. Email is the most reliable way to communicate with them but they are also regularly checking voicemail. You can also include the worker’s supervisor in your communication.

Area Offices’ (click here to find your local Area Office) phones will be answered during regular business hours. If you do not receive a timely response from a family resource worker or social worker, please call the Area Office for assistance.

After Hours Urgent and Emergency Support

Judge Baker Massachusetts Child Abuse Emergency Line 800-792-5200

The MA Child Abuse Emergency Line is available evenings, weekends and holidays when the DCF Area offices are closed.  Social workers and mental health counselors are available by phone to take reports of missing children (runaways) and to respond to mandated reporters and others who are concerned about the wellbeing of a child. In situations where a child is at imminent risk, including a child in need of medical or mental health hospital admission, staff can consult with on-call DCF Supervisors and Emergency Response Social workers to initiate an emergency response.

Non Emergency Support

Kid’s Net Helpline 800-486-3730

Through April 3, 2020, the Kid’s Net  Helpline will be available to foster parents 24 hours a day.   The Helpline will be staffed by social workers experienced in foster care who can provide information and support and help resolve non-emergency issues.

Kids Net Staff

Kid’s Net Directors and Family Resource Liaisons (FRLs) are available in every community as a source of support and to connect you with information and resources.

Kids Net Virtual Support Groups and Training:  

Our in-person trainings and support groups are suspended through the end of April but we are offering online trainings and support groups.  For more information please reach out to Kim Kelley at or 857-293-3392. Click here for information regarding upcoming Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) trainings.
Outreach and Home Visits

DCF Family Resource Workers and child social workers have been directed to check in with the children and families assigned to them by phone or FaceTime. If after these contacts, and in consultation with a supervisor, it is determined an imminent situation exists necessitating a face-to-face contact, plans for a home visit will be made. These visits will be conducted after making a routine assessment of the health of the individuals in the home and while there, the worker will use common-sense precautions to reduce potential exposure to COVID-19.  

If there are multiple workers connected to a foster home, workers are being encouraged to coordinate a single visit to reduce the number of visitors in a home.  

If you are concerned about an in-person visit you should discuss your concerns with the worker and, if necessary, seek support from the Area Office.

Visits with Family or Visiting Resources

At this point there is no prohibition on visits with family or visiting resources. However, given the need to take precautions to limit exposure to COVID-19 and limits on the availability of resources to support supervised visits, foster parents should be in communication with the child’s worker to discuss the particular needs and circumstances of the child in order to make a determination regarding visits that is right for that particular child.  In those circumstances where children are unable to spend time with their families, foster families and social workers should discuss whether increasing telephone access and/or FaceTime is an appropriate option for children to connect with loved ones.

Placements and Planned Removals

Placements and planned removals are continuing as appropriate.   Questions regarding placements should be directed to the child’s social worker.

Health Care

Reporting medical conditions and concerns:

All medical conditions and concerns regarding a child or a foster parent, including those related to COVID-19, should be communicated to the child’s worker by e-mail.

Emergency Supplies of Medication:

MassHealth has approved access to early renewal of medication to enable families to access an emergency supply. Initially, this did not include behavioral health medications however, effective  March 20, 2020, these prescriptions are now included.

Emergency Child Care Centers

With the mandated closure of child care centers in the Commonwealth, certain child care centers have been designated as Emergency Child Care Centers, the centers main charge is to provide child care for certain children including those who are DCF involved and/or whose parents are essential to responding to COVID-19. If you need access to one of these Centers please call your Area or Regional DCF Office to find out if you are eligible.

Foster Parent-to-Foster Parent Emergency Child Care

From March 23 through the end of April, Kid’s Net can pay a stipend for emergency child care provided by a licensed foster parent for short term work related or emergency situations that occur during the daytime.

If you are willing to be an emergency child care resource please contact your Kid’s Net Regional Director. Contact information is listed at If you need emergency child care contact your family resource worker.

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