• November 2005
  • Vol. 6, No. 9

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Recruiting and Retaining Resource Families

In an attempt to bridge the gap between what is known as "best practices" and what is actually practiced in the field in recruiting and retaining resource families, Casey Family Programs sponsored a pilot program that used the Breakthrough Series Collaborative methodology to foster systems change. The results are chronicled in a new report, Recruitment and Retention of Resource Families: Promising Practices and Lessons Learned.

Over 14 months, 22 public child welfare agencies implemented and tested more than 400 small-scale changes to determine what worked in recruitment and retention of famiies. The changes and their outcomes were entered into a searchable database. A review of the changes resulted in 10 key practice themes for recruiting and retaining resource families for foster care and adoption:

  • Culturally sensitive recruitment
  • Partnerships with faith-based organizations
  • Educating and engaging the community
  • Recruitment of homes for youth and siblings
  • Support and responsiveness of the child welfare agency
  • Role clarity for and inclusion of resource families
  • Relationships between resource families and birth families
  • The voice of children and youth
  • The voice of resource families
  • The voice of birth families

For each of these themes, the report documents specific strategies, case studies, and outcomes.

The complete report is available online at http://www.casey.org/resources/publications/BreakthroughSeries_RecruitmentRetention.htm. (Editor's note: Link no longer active)

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