Recruiting and Responding to Families for Teens

In this section, you will find specific information on targeting your recruitment strategies to identify, develop, and support prospective families for teens in foster care and how to build an effective response system that is part of a wider continuum of supportive services. Being intentional about how your agency responds to prospective adoptive families will help you establish a strong pool of well-prepared families for youth in foster care. This includes ensuring that your response system’s messaging and capacity to consistently respond in a timely manner reinforces a sense of urgency to find families for teens before they age out. Review this section to find more information about how to create a response system that begins actively developing and supporting prospective and adoptive families for youth in foster care from thrst point of contact.

13 Reasons to Adopt a Teen
AdoptUSKids (2017)
Provides a list of ideas shared by AdoptUSKids’ followers on Facebook, offering messages you can include in your recruitment efforts and demonstrating an idea you can adapt within your own child welfare system for targeted recruitment messaging.

Developing Recruitment Plans: A Tool 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, offering ideas for creating targeted recruitment plans that are focused on particular populations or areas.

First Impressions: the Power of an Effective Response System [Webinar]
National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment at AdoptUSKids (2017)
Addresses the importance of planning, developing, implementing, and continuously assessing your system for responding to resource family inquiries. The webinar provides an overview of key concepts related to effective response systems and discusses ways in which your response system offers a critical opportunity to address systemic needs and challenges, set resource family expectations, and provide consistent, timely information. Also included in the webinar is an agency self-assessment tool (PDF - 103 KB) to examine how well your response system meets the needs of families.

Going Beyond Recruitment for Older Youth (PDF - 648 KB)
National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment at AdoptUSKids (2015)
Offers tools and information on how to successfully recruit, develop, and support prospective adoptive parents for older youth.

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids
Reviews a model for child-specific recruitment strategies that has been demonstrated to be three times more effective at increasing the likelihood of youth adoption.

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