Policies on Implementing Data-Driven Recruitment & Retention Practices

Implementing Data-Driven Recruitment & Retention Practices graphic

Data-driven foster parent recruitment and retention

Kentucky’s diligent recruitment plan states that the agency is moving toward a performance-based system of procurement to reduce congregate care use, increase therapeutic foster care and expedite reunification. The agency produces a monthly diligent recruitment report that includes data drawn from the Comprehensive Child Welfare Information System (CCWIS) and Worker’s Information System broken down by county and region. The agency created a statewide template containing data on child and foster home demographics for use by regions to plan recruitment and retention activities. Regions submit semi-annual diligent recruitment plans and monitor progress quarterly.

See Kentucky's diligent recruitment plan for more information.

Kentucky Statewide Diligent Recruitment Steering Committee

In 2018, the committee launched workgroups dedicated to retention, targeted recruitment, general recruitment, training, respite and data. The committee recommended a number of recruitment strategies, including engaging youth and foster parents in recruitment and training, and identified the need for a statewide foster care brand.

See Kentucky's diligent recruitment plan for more information.

Agency Partners with Foster Youth and Foster Parents

Kentucky engages members of Voices of the Commonwealth, a foster youth advisory group coordinated by Murray State University, to share their experiences to raise awareness and aid recruitment and training. Fostering Futures, an initiative of the Kentucky Foster and Adoptive Care Association sponsored by the state agency, serves as a united voice to advocate for children in care and the families that serve them. Western Kentucky University (WKU) and the University of Kentucky have both conducted surveys of foster parents. The WKU survey found that foster parents were generally more satisfied with private agencies than with the public agency. The UK survey queried foster parents about their experiences caring for children exposed to trauma.

See Kentucky's diligent recruitment plan for more information.

Foster Parent and Youth Ambassadors

Some state plans describe involving foster parents and youth as foster care “ambassadors” as a recruitment strategy, including Georgia (community ambassadors), Iowa (foster and adoptive parent ambassadors), Massachusetts (foster and adoptive parent ambassadors who are paid $500 per month for 30 hours of general recruitment activity) and New Jersey (youth ambassadors who share their experiences with foster care to dispel myths about fostering teens).

See state diligent recruitment plans for more information.

Foster Parent Recruitment Social Workers

Beginning in 2016, the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families began the process of hiring a cadre of full-time foster care recruitment social workers. The agency’s plan establishes the goal of having 29 workers by FY 2020, one worker for each area office. These staff work with Family Resource Units within each area office to enhance recruitment efforts, develop area recruitment and retention plans and assist applicants with the licensing process. DCF also has a full-time statewide Foster Care and Adoption Recruitment Unit that plans and implements the comprehensive recruitment plan.

See Massachusetts' diligent recruitment plan for more information.

Foster Parents' Professional Status and Foster Care and Adoption Board

In 2007, Missouri enacted into law a Foster Parents' Bill of Rights. In addition to other rights, the law formally established foster parents as colleagues on the child welfare team, requiring that foster parents be engaged in a manner consistent with the National Association of Social Workers’ Ethical Responsibilities to Colleagues. This designation recognizes foster parents as professionals whose expertise is on par with caseworkers, mental health providers, and other members of the team, and also provides them with access to formal appeal processes that are established in law. In 2011, the state legislature enacted the Missouri State Foster Care and Adoption Board. Comprised of foster and adoptive parents from across the state, the Board is charged by law with providing consultation and assistance to the Department of Social Services on policies and procedures related to foster care and adoption, and also determining the nature and content of in-service training.

For more information see the policy playbook.