Main Objective / A Usual Day
The main objective and premise of A.J.’s Place is to give DCF / CPS and abuse-free group foster care shelter where children can find help and wait to be properly placed without the pressure of having to return the child to the abusive home or that of a rushed placement. The shelter would also be looking to help families torn apart by domestic violence sometime in the future and would treat children and teens outside of state care who need the therapy services that A.J.’s Place would offer.
A USUAL DAY AT A.J.’S PLACE
· Three shifts for security and cottage employees (12 A.M. – 8 A.M., 8 A.M. – 4 P.M., and 4 P.M. – 12 A.M.)
At 8 A.M., new cottage and security shifts come on. The kids wake up, eat breakfast and get ready for class at nine. They head to the classrooms on the fourth floor of the building. Class lasts until noon. At noon, the children return to their cottages with their counselor (proper term? I’m not sure) who stays with them until 4 P.M. They eat lunch, and then they go on to their recreational or therapy areas – wherever they need to go. This lasts from 1 P.M. to 4 P.M. At 4 P.M., a new employee shift comes on for the evening. The children return to the cottages, where they can play in the “road” outside – basketball, street hockey, hopscotch, rollerblade, jump rope, etc. until dinnertime. They’re also permitted to remain inside with the second employee. This gives the sense of family and routine that may not be found elsewhere. The children and cottage employees have dinner and then maybe have a TV, movie or game night before the children go to bed.
Bedtime for the younger children would be 9 P.M. and 10 P.M. for the older children. The overnight employee shift would take over at midnight.