Children and youth thrive in families. Resource families, such as foster parents, foster-to-adopt families, and kin caregivers, are critical partners in providing care and support for children and youth in foster care. Deliberate recruitment of families who reflect the ethnic and racial diversity of children awaiting placement and who have the skills to provide a stable, loving home for children experiencing a variety of needs is vital.  

Recruiting relatives and fictive kin is preferred when children cannot safely remain with their parents or caregivers. Implementing best practices, such as family finding, can create opportunities for children to maintain family and cultural connections that can minimize the trauma of family separation. When relatives or fictive kin are unavailable, recruiting families from within the child's community can also keep those connections.  

Ongoing training and trauma-informed, culturally responsive supports are essential to retaining resource families. Connecting resource families—including formal, informal, and fictive kin—to services throughout placement supports their ability to help the children in their care navigate life and its challenges. Providing easy-to-access and equitable concrete supports and trainings for families can help them develop skills and build resilience.  

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