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Resources for Child Welfare Professionals

Having a pool of well-prepared and supported families makes it possible for child welfare agencies to provide placement stability and permanency for children and youth in foster care. With the right development and support from child welfare agencies, prospective foster and kinship caregivers are better equipped to meet the needs of children and youth. Child welfare agencies start this relationship at the first point of contact and should focus on empowering caregivers and strengthening families throughout the life of the case. The skills and knowledge prospective and current foster and kinship caregivers gain improve their awareness and confidence in meeting the specific needs of children and youth and will help support resource families.

This section includes resources about helping child welfare agencies build the pool of families they need, using child-specific recruitment strategies to locate and engage resource families, and improving support services throughout the permanency process. 

Building the pool of families you need

Developing Recruitment Plans: A Toolkit for States and Tribes (PDF - 391 KB)
National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment at AdoptUSKids (2016)
Helps child welfare agencies develop data-driven recruitment plans and offers ideas for creating targeted recruitment plans focused on particular populations or areas.

Tips, Tools, and Trends: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) & Market Segmentation (PDF - 339 KB)
National Resource Center for Child Welfare Data and Technology & National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment (NRCDR) at AdoptUSKids (2013)
Provides a brief overview of how child welfare systems can use geographic information systems and market segmentation approaches to visualize data and to support targeted, data-informed outreach and recruitment efforts. To learn more about market segmentation and using data, access the NRCDR’s Overview of Market Segmentation (PDF - 144 KB) and visit the following NRCDR website sections: Diverse Populations: Using Data and Diligent Recruitment: Using Data

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Using child-specific recruitment to achieve permanency

Placement Stability and Permanency
National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment at AdoptUSKids
Offers ideas from the field and tools and resources that provide strategies and information related to child-specific recruitment that can help child welfare professionals recruit foster, adoptive, and kinship families for specific children and youth in care. 

What Is Family Finding and Permanency
Seneca Family of Agencies, National Institute for Permanent Family Connectedness (2017)
Explains the Family Finding model, which includes tools and strategies to locate and engage relatives and other supportive adults of children and youth in foster care.

I-CARE 365 
National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment at AdoptUSKids
Highlights lessons learned through a 2010 diligent recruitment project administered by the Michigan State Department of Human Services in Oakland County and in the city of Lansing, Michigan. By facilitating a partnership between a child welfare agency and a faith-based community group, this project developed a Faith-Based Recruitment Kit (PDF - 12,410 KB). The recruitment kit provides information and guidance on how congregations can support foster and adoptive parents.

The Texas Permanency and Family Resource Development Model 
National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment at AdoptUSKids
Highlights lessons learned through a 2010 diligent recruitment project administered by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. It includes many products developed by this grantee, such as a brochure (PDF - 744 KB) and a curriculum (PDF - 2,030 KB) from the partnership with court appointed special advocates to recruit and train volunteer permanency specialists who provide diligent search, case mining, and family engagement activities for children living in foster care in Texas.

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Developing and supporting families

A Movement to Transform Foster Parenting (PDF - 1,610 KB)
Annie E. Casey Foundation (2016)
Discusses approaches to ensure children receive the care they need and deserve based on information gathered from frontline workers.

Better Together Curriculum
National Alliance of Children's Trust & Prevention Funds (2015)
Provides information about hosting 2-day Better Together experiential workshops to facilitate mutually beneficial relationships between foster parents, birth parents, and staff.

Permanent Families & Lasting Connections, Clark County, Nevada
National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment at AdoptUSKids (2017)
Examines how Clark County's Foster Parent Champion Program provides a support system for foster parents, relatives, and fictive kinship caregivers through increasing communication and access to support resources. The website includes the Foster Parent Champion Program flyer in English (PDF - 222 KB) and Spanish (PDF - 184 KB), along with other resources produced through this project.

Support Matters: Lessons From the Field on Services for Adoption, Foster, and Kinship Care Families (PDF - 2,170 KB)
National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment at AdoptUSKids (2017)
Provides guidance on using support services to recruit families, assess family needs, use data to demonstrate the value of services, and implement programs. To access excerpts from the guide, tools, tip sheets, webinars, and featured program profiles, visit the National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment Support Matters.

Is Your Response System Family Friendly? (PDF - 131 KB)
National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment at AdoptUSKids
Guides child welfare agencies through an evaluative process in order to determine the strengths and weaknesses of each agency's response system.

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