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Jump to COVID-19 Updates

The Children’s League of Massachusetts (CLM) has been a constant advocate for physical and behavioral health for children, especially those involved with the state. With the increasing spread of Coronavirus (also known as COVID-19), we all committed to minimizing risk to children and the human service staff that are providing home, community, and congregate care services. 

Of particular concern to CLM is addressing the needs of CLM members that have residential and group homes for children. Many of the current safety recommendations around Coronavirus, such as self-isolation and staying home if you’re sick, are not feasible for programs that house multiple children & require 24/7 staffing. 

We have outlined steps CLM is taking in the immediate, as well as provided a list of trusted resources. If you have questions, concerns, resources, or would like to coordinate on this issue, please contact a member of CLM’s staff.

Find the most current Department of Public Health executive orders and guidance for all Health and Human Services departments and providers here: COVID-19 Public Health Guidance and Directives


Throughout the pandemic, CLM worked with our state partners to provide additional guidance, resources, and flexibility to child welfare providers during this public health crisis. As part of our work with The Collaborative, CLM was able to accomplish:

  • Working with state to issue guidance on congregate care and other services, which are now provided in the resource section below.
  • Weekly calls between EOHHS and The Collaborative to support a coordinated Coronavirus response, as well as address our members’ ongoing concerns around health protocols and reimbursements.
  • Direct calls between EOHHS and health & human service providers (schedule listed in resource section below)

CLM also communicated with our associates at other child-welfare advocacy organizations across the country to share and learn information to integrate into our advocacy with the state and to expand knowledge to our members, other child-welfare providers, and the public at-large.  

Finally, CLM actively communicated with our members to inform and enhance our advocacy efforts so that Coronavirus did not impede our members’ ability to provide critical child-welfare services while ensuring safety measures to clients and staff. We’re fostered these conversations through:

  • Weekly and Monthly Coronavirus Forums
    • Forum for CLM members and staff to share resources and collect information about state, advocacy, and providers’ responses and guidance on the Coronavirus, including supply and program costs related to adhering to emergency response.
  • Regular email updates with provider specific information and guidance on Coronavirus. 

EOHHS Congregate Care Update

March, 2023

As of March 31, 2023, congregate care surveillance testing is no longer required in congregate care settings.

  • EOHHS will transition to offer only over the counter (OTC) rapid antigen tests to any congregate care settings that needs tests for outbreak or symptomatic/exposure testing.
  • Tests may be requested at the following link: bit.ly/covidtestrequestMA
  • More information about at-home COVID-19 tests, including links to instructions in multiple languages, can be found on Using a COVID-19 Self-Test.

COVID positive staff no longer needed to be reported, but Covid positive DCF children in DCF congregate care programs still need to be reported to DCF.

  • Providers need to notify a child’s DCF SW if the child becomes covid positive
  • Providers also need to report a covid positive child to Justin Varricchione at email address - Justin.H.Varricchione@mass.gov

The reporting template is attached here.

To learn more, visit the mass.gov website.

Family Resources Update

August, 2021

On August 2021, the CDC issued an eviction moratorium order in areas of substantial and high transmission. Notice: The eviction order ended on August 26, 2021.

Service-Specific Update

July, 2021

Here’s the updated service-specific guidance for Child Welfare Providers from July 2021:

MAP Certifications Update

June, 2021

The Department of Public Health issued a Certification on reinstatement of Expired/Lapsed MAP Certifications (MPH, June 15, 2021)

Service-Specific Update

May, 2021

Here’s the updated service-specific guidance for Child Welfare Providers from May 2021:

Service-Specific Update

April, 2021

Here’s the updated service-specific guidance for Child Welfare Providers from April 2021:

Service-Specific Update

March, 2021

Here’s the updated service-specific guidance for Child Welfare Providers from March 2021:

Organizational Resources

December, 2020

Below is a list of organizational resources provided by the Unemployment Services Trust (UST) to aid Human Resources staff during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Note from The Collaborative: Review your emergency business continuity plan and update, if necessary.

Family Resources Update

November, 2020

Below are guidances issued by the Department of Early Education and Care regarding resources for providers and advocates to share with children, youth, and families in their network:

EEC Background Check Update

September, 2020

Here’s the updated guidance on Background Record Checks issued by the Department of Early Education and Care (MA EEC)

Insurance & Billing Guidance Update

August, 2020

The Department of Public Health has instructed insurance companies to take the following actions:

  • All commercial insurers, self-insured plans, and the Group Insurance Commission are required to cover medically necessary telehealth services related to COVID-19 testing and treatment.
  • Insurers must do this without requiring cost-sharing of any kind – such as co-pays and coinsurance – for testing and treatment.
  • Additionally, insurers cannot require prior authorization for these services.
  • All commercial insurers and the Group Insurance Commission are required to cover medically necessary telehealth services in the same manner they cover in-person services. (Unemployment Services Trust)

Trusted Informational Sources

June, 2020

The list below includes some trusted information sources that provide information and updates regarding COVID-19 in the global, national, and local level:

Service-Specific Update (Letter from Commissioner Spears)

April, 2020

On April 4, 2020, Commissioner Spears issued the following letter to Providers:

Service-Specific Update

April, 2020

Family Resources Update

March, 2020

The Department of Children and Families’ guidance for foster parents on responding to and caring for foster children during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Insurance & Billing Guidance Update

March, 2020

Financial Relief Guidance:

  • The Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) has sent the guidance directly from contracting agencies to provider agencies the week of 3/24. Additionally, CLM has sent a breakdown to member executives about what this first round of financial relief, focusing on congregate care and community-based services, means for providers.

Coverage and Reimbursement for Services Related to Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

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