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Palm Beach County foster care leaders say virtual system working during pandemic

Posted at 6:25 PM, Jun 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-30 18:25:15-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Dozens of children in the Palm Beach County foster care system were recognized, Tuesday morning for their achievements this school year.

The virtual graduation presented by Jullians Kids recognized 52 youth receiving their high school diploma, GED, vocational certification, or college diploma.

“This is an exciting day of course for Palm Beach County,” former longtime WPTV anchor and childcare advocate Jim Sackett said.

Sackett served as the emcee for the virtual celebration honoring foster children overcoming the odds.

“The kids who graduated during this trying times just shows how strong and how much they can persevere,” Larry Rein said.

Rein is the President of ChildNet, he spoke with WPTV after the graduation about how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the fostering system in south Florida.

“It’s that fear of not having people to care for these kids, however so far foster parents have stepped up, youth providers have stepped up everybody has rallied,” he said.

Rein says one of the biggest changes is that foster care training is now done virtually.

“Which actually on a certain level probably increases involvement because it make it a lot easier on people,” Rein said.

He says in person home studies are still required at the end of training. However, Rein believes this pandemic has had some silver linings.

“We don’t have case managers sitting, waiting at the courthouse to testify for five minutes and waiting three hours,” he said. “Now they can do their work and when the judge is ready for them they can go online and testify.”