Alternative Family Services' foster care program is designed to meet the needs of children up to twenty-one years of age. Foster parents work as part of a treatment team comprised of an AFS Program Director, Caseworker, referring agency worker, and other involved professionals. Foster homes form a network of foster families who provide support, advice and respite to one another. Foster parents meet regularly for training and support.
Often, while authorities look into alleged abuse or neglect, children need short-term placements to ensure their safety during the investigation. In those cases where abuse or neglect are verified and when no immediate family is available to take care of children these shorter-term placements are converted to placements that can last longer periods of time. A high proportion of AFS therapeutic foster placements begin as short-term emergency placements.
Respite is a valuable service that provides foster families with a scheduled break from parenting. Respite can enhance the treatment and care of children in foster care and prevent unnecessary placement disruptions due to foster parent exhaustion and burnout.
AFS will pay an approved respite worker to come into any AFS foster home for a scheduled period of time so foster parents and children can rest and refresh themselves. Often times foster parents are most comfortable leaving their foster children in the care of close friends or relatives. AFS will perform the necessary interviews, clearances (fingerprints, child abuse index) and training for an individual to become a respite care giver.Click here for Respite Certification requirements