New Policy on Children Removed from Homes by Social Workers

As a director for the Department of Family and Children Services, Linda Hogan says it's her responsibility to find a stable home for a child 24 hours a day, but she says foster families are not available around the clock.

"More often than we would like to think about, there does come a time when there's not a place for that child when you are at the office at 5:00 and you still don't have a place for them to spend the night," says Linda.

Recently in Carroll County, Georgia, five teens spent the night in a social services office under the staff supervision. A new policy bans this because of liability issues and safety risks.

Case workers say before resorting to leaving the child in the office overnight they do all they can to find the child a home, but some cases are worst than others, especially when dealing with children with special needs.

"Whether it be health problems or mental health issues or chronic disrupting behaviors, it's hard for us to place those children, especially on short notice," says Angel Goodvine, who works in foster care and placement.

Hogan says with the state stepping in, she sees positive changes ahead for DFACS statewide.

"It has heightened the level of awareness for this very real and critical problem."

Under the new policy, caseworkers would have to contact state DFACS officials who'll then assist in finding temporary placement for the child.