Ideas from the Field
Here are some helpful ideas from across the country that your child welfare system could consider using to develop a sufficient pool of foster, adoptive, and kinship families that can meet the needs of children and youth in foster care.
General recruitment strategies help build public interest and awareness of the need for foster and adoptive parents for children and youth in foster care by broadcasting the need to a general audience. These strategies focus on drawing in a wide variety of families while setting the stage for more targeted recruitment.
Targeted recruitment is the process by which States, Tribes, and Territories strategically focus their recruitment efforts in neighborhoods and communities where families can be found that are most likely to be a resource for the children and youth in their care.
Child-specific recruitment strategies help recruit foster, adoptive, and kinship families for specific children and youth in foster care. These strategies begin with a comprehensive child assessment and preparation process. Every effort should be made to involve the child as developmentally appropriate.
Interjurisdictional placements involve placing a child for foster care or adoption with a family who lives in a different jurisdiction from the one responsible for the child. For example, in a county-based child welfare system, you may encounter interjurisdictional issues between county departments and courts. More often, however, the term interjurisdictional is applied to placements involving movement of a child across state, territory, or national boundaries.
Implementing recruitment strategies is only the first step. The real key to effective recruitment is retention. You must also develop the capacity to support and actively develop families from initial inquiry through post-placement in order to be able to provide placement stability and permanency.