Increasingly, resource families are seen as key players in the team working to achieve permanency for children in foster care. When relatives or kin are not available, resource families are called upon to provide the support and stability a child needs at the most critical time of their lives—when they are removed from their homes. To ensure the needs of each child entering care are met, child welfare agencies have the difficult task of building and maintaining an adequate pool of resource families. The ability to match each child with an appropriate, loving family is critical and can lay the foundation for successful outcomes. This section includes an array of approaches and strategies that child welfare agencies can use to recruit a range of resource families.
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.
The Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition
Compiles an array of resource documents designed to assist permanency workers in finding families and establishing lasting connections for youth in foster care.
Family Finding Evaluations: A Summary of Recent Findings (PDF - 444 KB)
Child Trends (2015)
Reviews the results from 13 evaluations of Family Finding that have been released over the past 2 years. The Family Finding model provides child welfare practitioners with intensive search and engagement techniques to identify family members and other adults close to a child in foster care in order to involve these adults in developing and carrying out a plan for the emotional and legal permanency of the child.
A Family for Life: The Vital Need to Achieve Permanency for Children in Foster Care (PDF - 4,485 KB)
The Donaldson Adoption Institute (2014)
Provides a synthesis of knowledge related to extensive, years-long research throughout the United States, England, and Canada on 22 specific practices that facilitate the adoption of children from foster care. It includes information about these practices, outcomes, and recommended resources.
Quick Tips and Tools for Recruitment and Retention
AdoptUSKids & National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment
Provides tip sheets and toolkits for child welfare professionals regarding general recruitment, family retention, working with diverse communities, assessment, and interstate and interjurisdictional placement tools.
Recruitment Ideas & Overcoming Barriers to Placement of Teens
You Gotta Believe
Provides selected resources for learning how to recruit homes for teens in foster care and how to overcome the barriers to recruiting homes and placing teens in permanent homes.
Resource Parent Recruitment and Training Programs
California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare (CEBC)
Lists programs that focus on the location, identification, and education of families who are interested in being foster parents. These programs have been reviewed and, if appropriate, rated using the scientific rating scale created by CEBC.
Revitalizing Recruitment and Retention of Foster Parents
New York State Office of Children and Family Services & Welfare Research, Inc.
Includes practical strategies for recruiting and retaining foster, adoptive, and kinship families, as well as a blueprint for putting diligent recruitment into action with hands-on, step-by-step tools and tips. This resource was developed with funding from the Children’s Bureau.
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.
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.
Wendy's Wonderful Kids Research
Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
Presents findings from an evaluation of adoptive family recruitment strategies for children in foster care. The results indicate that child-focused recruitment models were significantly more successful than other approaches.
Strategies for Recruiting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Foster, Adoptive, and Kinship Families (PDF - 434 KB)
Introduces the topic of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) parents as a resource in the child welfare system, followed by a discussion of strategies for recruiting and engaging LGBT resource families.