What's involved in after hours placement?

Children can be dropped off at the DFCS office between 8:30 am and 9:00 am when you accept them in the middle of the night and need to work the next day OR we encourage you to try and keep these children until after their 72 hour court hearing, to avoid several placements within their first few days in care!   

After Hours Placements  (AHPs) are exactly that!  Placements that are made after office hours.  Approximately 50% of our children come into care after the DFCS office closes at 5:00 pm and before they reopen at 9:00 am and when the office isn't open on the weekends.

I look at AHPs as kind of like inviting over my nieces and nephews to spend the night or spend the weekend with us.  We rearrange children in different rooms, different beds and sometimes even have a big slumber party in the living room, watch movies and eat popcorn.  We've taken many age groups and both boys and girls even though we have girls that are under the age of 8.  We have found that sometimes taking an older child is better because older children have different needs than the younger ones. 

AHP was the furthest from my mind when I first became a foster parent but I'm really glad that I became involved in taking AHPs.  I feel I have been able to help children be at ease and help take care of them in this moment of craziness in their life and hopefully give them some normality.  One of our foster girls asked me the other day when another child was going to come stay with us. 

After Hours is looking for a home to temporarily place a child or sibling group.  Sometimes it's just for the evening and sometimes it's for the weekend.  The child(ren) can be brought to the DFCS office on Monday morning or next working day if needed.  Intake workers are usually in the office between 8:30 and 9:00 am.  If you have to be to work earlier than that, there is no other place at the current time to take the child(ren) so you may need to be a little late to work that morning.  I truly believe that if you speak with your employer, they will be able to work with you.

A Natural Helper can help you care for the child until a case manager can pick the child up or can take the child to the office later.  Speak with your RD worker if you need to get a Natural Helper approved.  Some people are able to drop the child off at their daycare.  The daycare will charge for their services but this is reimbursed by DFCS.  Some foster parents are able to call another foster parent that they know is at home and able to care for the child until the child can be picked up or delivered to the office.

My husband and I went through a period where we only took AHPs.  We would keep the child(ren) through the 72 hour hearing and sometimes till the 10 day hearing.  Once we kept the child until DFCS was through with the family placement approval.  These scenarios would of course need to be discussed with your RD worker.  A lot of FPs have kept their after hour placement child(ren) for much longer and some have even adopted that child(ren).

The AHU has a listing of all of our phone numbers and the number, ages & genders of kids we are approved to accept.  They normally know a few foster parents that will take AHP and what age children they will take so they will call those parents first.  Then they will start down the list of all foster parents.

For questions please email us at cobbcountyfapa@gmail.com

Pam Ritchie, Foster Parent