Retaining resource families helps to ensure continuity of care for children within the child welfare system. It is essential that child welfare systems identify and implement effective, integrated approaches to recruiting, developing, and supporting foster, adoptive, and kinship families in order to have an available pool of resource families that can meet the needs of children and youth in care. Find resources below related to retaining and supporting resource families.
Building Successful Resource Families: A Guide for Public Agencies (PDF - 2,314 KB)
Annie E. Casey Foundation (2012)
Addresses the lack of suitable resource families due to inappropriate recruiting and inadequate support and then describes the benefits and limitations of different resource family oversight models. It also outlines best practices and specific tools that have been identified by the Annie E. Casey Foundation as effective in the field.
Develop and Support Families
National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment (2016)
Discusses the needs of foster families and the most effective ways in which child welfare families can support them.
Effective Practices in Foster Parent Recruitment, Infrastructure, and Retention (PDF - 444 KB)Casey Family Programs (2014)
Highlights a handful of programs that have been successful in improving child welfare recruitment and retention initiatives.
Family Finding & Engagement (PDF - 342 KB)
National Institute for Permanent Family Connectedness
Examines the most effective methods for identifying and involving extended family in the kinship care process.
Promising Approaches in Child Welfare: Foster and Adoptive Parent Licensing, Recruitment, and Retention
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children's Bureau (2012)
Provides descriptions of promising State approaches regarding areas of common concern identified during the Child and Family Services Review and the Program Improvement Plan process.
Using Customer Service Concepts to Enhance Recruitment and Retention Practices
National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment at AdoptUSKids (2013)
Frames the relationship between child welfare agencies and foster, adoptive, and kinship families through a customer service paradigm. After establishing each role within this framework, the resource details how implementing a customer service framework affects resource family retention.
Develop and Support Families: Ideas from the Field
National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment at AdoptUSKids
Provides strategies to support both prospective and current foster, adoptive, and kinship families.
Guide to Supporting Foster Parents (PDF - 709 KB)
Wisconsin Foster Parent Retention & Support Subcommittee (2013)
Outlines the ways in which child welfare agencies can meet the needs of foster families in order to reduce foster parent burnout. These needs were categorized into six topics: foster parent development, emotional well-being, professional member of the team, resource support, crisis needs, and financial support.
Research Summary: Supporting, Retaining & Recruiting Resource Families (PDF - 1,596 KB)
Harbert & Tucker-Tatlow (2015)
Public Child Welfare Training Academy
Discusses effective practices for retaining foster parents, including respite care, in-service training, and recertification. This research summary also discusses best practices for developing retention programs targeted to resource families for specific foster youth, like sibling groups and children with behavioral problems.
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Child Welfare Information Gateway
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