Policies on Implementing Data-Driven Recruitment & Retention Practices

Implementing Data-Driven Recruitment & Retention Practices graphic

North Carolina Diligent Recruitment and Retention Plan

North Carolina’s DSS developed the its most recent Diligent Recruitment and Retention (DRR) plan collaboratively with input provided at three regional stakeholder meetings attended by representatives of the provider community, the courts, foster parents, youth, county child welfare leaders, licensing staff, caseworkers, advocates and others. One of the goals of the new DRR plan is that “the state, counties and child placing agencies have the capacity to use data to inform and monitor recruitment and retention efforts.” The plan requires each county department of social services to submit its own individualized plan annually. The state also requires each county to create, maintain, update monthly and submit to the state annually a data profile that includes the following: characteristics of children in care, characteristics of families available for placement, average length of time from initial inquiry to licensure, total number of licensed beds, total number of available beds, number of children placed out of county due to lack of available beds, and number of placement disruptions or changes. Although private agencies are not required to submit data profiles, larger agencies have that capacity and the state encourages them to do so.

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Child Welfare Summit on Diligent Recruitment and Retention

In May 2019, North Carolina held the first annual Child Welfare Summit on Diligent Recruitment and Retention. The summit was an opportunity for county child welfare agencies and private child placing agency staff to come together to discuss ten key drivers for improving recruitment and retention outcomes. The key drivers include: data driven; leadership within and across agencies; child-centered; collaboration with families; collaboration with community partners; sustainability; quality customer service; kinship, guardianship, and post-adoption services; MEPA; and, develop and support families.

See state diligent recruitment plans for more information.

Data-driven foster parent recruitment and retention

Ohio, which is a county-administered child welfare system, added child-specific recruitment plans to its child welfare information system and intends to use mobility mapping as a recruitment tool. The state’s plan references engagement of tribes, experts and providers to develop data reports that are used to explore questions related to flexibility of county recruitment plans, use of county plans to inform the state plan, monitoring of county plans by the state, use by counties of a customer service approach to foster families, county access to recruitment tools and county expertise regarding sibling placement.

See Ohio's diligent recruitment plan for more information.

Ohio's Foster Care Advisory Group

Created by statute in 2017, the Ohio Foster Care Advisory Group developed recommendations regarding training, simplification of certification requirements, coaching parents on substance-exposed newborns, childcare, respite, trauma-competent counseling, retention, foster parent rights and a public awareness campaign. 

See Ohio's diligent recruitment plan for more information.

Support is Everyone's Game

In Oklahoma, agency leaders have made quality foster care a priority. The state has made a concerted effort to improve the resource family approval process and customer service to resource parents. As a result of streamlining paperwork, expediting background checks and completion of family assessments, and adding online pre-service training, the majority of resource homes are now approved within 60-90 calendar days from initial inquiry, down from 120 days. Oklahoma implemented a campaign called “Support is Everyone’s Game” to engage all Child Welfare Services staff in providing excellent customer service to resource parents. All new CWS staff complete Customer Service Training. According to foster parent exit surveys, over 85 percent of foster parents would recommend fostering to their friends and family. 

See Oklahoma's diligent recruitment plan for more information.

Family Finding at First Contact

Pennsylvania’s state law that requires family-finding be conducted for a child when a case is first opened (as opposed to when the child is removed from home). The Statewide Adoption Network (SWAN) Legal Services Initiative has placed paralegals in 66 of the state’s 67 counties to conduct diligent searches for family members who may be available as placement resources.

See Pennsylvania's diligent recruitment plan for more information.