Policies in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Department of Children and Families Healthcare Reforms

In 2014, the state Department of Children and Families (DCF) convened a Task Force on Medical Services for children in foster care. As a result of the task force’s recommendations, DCF hired a medical director and medical social workers for each of the 29 DCF area offices. The medical social workers ensure that children receive a screening medical exam and comprehensive medical visit within one month of entering foster care, verify that visits are documented in the DCF database, provide care coordination, arrange medical follow-up, address insurance issues and provide support to foster caregivers.

See playbook 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.