Youth Services Law

Showing 14 posts in Coronavirus.

Responding to Suicidal Students

Posted In Coronavirus, Mental Health

This is National Suicide Prevention Week, and this year it comes amid reports of increased suicides and depression during the pandemic. Those of us who work with children and teenagers are likely to encounter clients who express suicidal thoughts. The good news is that there are many resources that can help us respond.

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Day Camps in Georgia Permitted to Operate Without Exemption Certificate

Posted In Coronavirus

Coronavirus

Until recently, “Day Camps” in Georgia could only operate during school breaks. Governor Kemps’s August 15, 2020, Executive Order expressly suspended that application requirement for some programs for the duration of Georgia’s Public Health State of Emergency. Further, the most recent Executive Order repeated that suspension and expressly stated that Day Camps that provide “Supervision” and/or a physical location for children five (5) years of age or older to participate in digital or distance learning during school hours can operate during the school year as long as the state of emergency lasts.

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State Powers to Mandate COVID-19 Vaccination and Employee Vaccination Considerations for Employers

Posted In Coronavirus

Coronavirus

In 1955, Canada used an 18-month polio vaccine trial period to set up a compulsory vaccination program. Facing the same health crisis and given the same time period, the U.S. Federal government chose a limited role in engaging State governments to prepare for and distribute the vaccine. Many claimed the U.S. Federal government’s failure to work with the States to prepare and lead in the 1950s led to distribution problems of the polio vaccine, with many poor communities being overlooked for more than a decade.

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Accommodating Anxiety and Depression During the Pandemic

Posted In Coronavirus, Reopening

One unfortunate side effect of coronavirus measures has been an increase in anxiety among our children. Most of the reports are anecdotal, but one study of Chinese students showed a significant increase in anxiety and depression among children quarantined for a mean of 34 days. Closer to home, 30% of parents participating in a May 2020 Gallup poll reported harm to their child’s emotional or mental health. These problems come on top of already rising rates of teen suicide.

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Mandated Reporting in a Virtual Environment

Many Georgia school systems are beginning the 2020-2021 school year in a virtual learning environment. However, the virtual learning environment does not absolve school teachers, school administrators, school counselors, visiting teachers, school social workers, or school psychologists from the mandated reporting requirements for suspected child abuse set forth in O.C.G.A. § 19-7-5. As long as one of these persons has reasonable cause to believe that suspected child abuse has occurred, they must report to the Division of Family and Children Services within 24 hours “from the time there is reasonable cause to believe that suspected abuse has occurred.”

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Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA): Challenges Specific to Childcare & Youth Organizations

Coronavirus

Earlier this year, Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) in direct response to the reality that many working individuals would be forced to miss work due to COVID-19 related reasons.  After a long spring and summer, childcare and youth organizations subject to the FFCRA are now grappling with how to bring their employees back and comply with this new law.

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Cyberbullying

Posted In Bullying, Coronavirus, Reopening

With so many children learning virtually this fall and otherwise having to keep in touch with their friends by electronic, cyberbullying is likely to be a bigger problem than usual. According to an industry study last year, almost 30% of children had experienced some sort of cyberbullying before the pandemic isolated everyone. Another study estimates that cyberbullying has almost doubled since the pandemic began.

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Georgia Governor Brian Kemp Signs Georgia COVID-19 Pandemic Business Safety Act Into Law

Posted In Coronavirus, Reopening

Coronavirus

On Wednesday, August 5, 2020, Governor Brian Kemp signed into law S.B. 359, the Georgia COVID-19 Pandemic Business Safety Act. The Act limits the liability of businesses, churches, schools, individuals, healthcare facilities, childcare providers and healthcare providers (among others) for certain legal claims under Georgia law related to COVID-19.  Generally, the Act provides businesses protection from liability if an individual claims to have contracted COVID-19 while on the premises IF:

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Pods and Paperwork

Posted In Coronavirus, Reopening

With the coronavirus closing so many schools this fall, “learning pods” have become very popular. Many childcare centers, day camps, and other organizations have developed programs to provide on-site learning pods for children, with tutors, computers, and dedicated rooms. Other groups do not have the physical plant but provide tutors to meet with groups of children in private homes. If your organization is gearing up to meet this need, do not forget some important basic principles.

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COVID-19 Vaccination and State School/Childcare Vaccination Laws

Posted In Coronavirus, Reopening

Coronavirus

Mandatory vaccination laws were first enacted in the early 19th century, beginning with Massachusetts’ smallpox vaccination law in 1809. Generally, courts have ruled that the policing power of States absolutely includes reasonable regulations, such as vaccinations laws, established by State legislatures to protect public health and safety. State vaccination laws are mostly applied to children for school or childcare enrollment or employees of certain health care facilities. With this in mind and in anticipation of a vaccine for COVID-19, many wonder if children and healthcare employees will be the first population sectors in which States will require compulsory vaccination under existing laws. If that is the case, many schools, childcare facilities, parents and community leaders may question if it is a “reasonable regulation” to vaccinate a population sector least affected by COVID-19, being children, to protect the public health and safety of all.

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