Policies on Implementing Data-Driven Recruitment & Retention Practices

Implementing Data-Driven Recruitment & Retention Practices graphic

Recruitment Estimator is a Tool for Data Driven Recruitment

Arizona used a Recruitment Estimator to develop precise estimates of the number of foster families needed, categorized by characteristics of children needing families and race of caregivers. Arizona plans to highlight successful reunifications in its recruitment campaign and plans to create materials to help birth and foster families engage in implementation of shared parenting.

See Arizona's diligent recruitment plan for more information.

Strategies to Support First Placement in Families

This brief by Casey Family Programs highlights strategies used in Arkansas to deepen capacity to place children in family settings at the outset rather than in group settings, such as: designating resource staff in each region to support emergency placements with relatives and offering an optional mass text-messaging tool that allows hundreds of foster parents to be immediately notified when there is a placement need. In Arkansas, where leadership has been carefully tracking trend data, the percentage of children in kinship care increased from 14 percent to almost 30 percent between May 2016 and August 2017, and during the same time period the number of children in emergency shelter placements was reduced by more than 50 percent.

To learn more, see the brief, "How can we ensure a child’s first placement is with family?"

Foster parent recruitment to support birth and foster parent relationships

Georgia is implementing Partnership Parenting, a trauma-informed parenting model designed to allow parents to continue parenting while their children are in care. Recruitment of a pool of “Partnership Parents” who can mentor birth parents includes grassroots outreach, relationship building, and community education. “Resource Parents” also mentor birth parents but are ready to adopt a child if reunification efforts fail.

See Georgia's diligent recruitment plan for more information.

Data-driven foster parent recruitment

The Georgia Division of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS) collects and analyzes data on children in care and foster/adoptive resources from a number of different sources, including GA SHINES, GA+SCORE, the Fostering GA inquiry line database and foster parent exit surveys. Georgia’s Caregiver Recruitment and Retention Unit develops data profiles that DFCS regions use to develop annual reports on placement resources, retention data and projected needs. Regions submit quarterly reports on recruitment and retention progress, which the state agency uses to annually update its recruitment and retention plan. The state’s goal is to use data more effectively in recruitment and retention and to provide technical assistance to counties. 

See Georgia's diligent recruitment plan for more information.

Georgia's customer service model: Faster, Friendlier, Easier

One of Georgia's goals is to provide quality customer service to foster parents. Georgia is focused on improving IMPACT, which stands for Initial Interest, Mutual Selection, Pre-Service Training, Assessment, Continuing Development, Trauma-Informed Teamwork. Georgia’s customer service motto is Faster, Friendlier and Easier. The goal is be accessible to current and prospective caregivers, be responsive to inquirers, move prospective caregivers through the approval process as expediently as possible, and remove bureaucratic and other barriers to approval and retention to the extent possible. The goal is to provide more flexibility to prospective foster parents. Georgia’s diligent recruitment plan describes a Placement Resource Operations Unit (PRO Unit) which specializes in supporting placements of high-need children and youth through enhanced matching, provision of needed services and intensive practice guidance and consultation to field staff, inpatient facilities and contracted providers.

See Georgia's diligent recruitment plan for more information.

Iowa One Caseworker Model

Iowa’s Department of Human Services (DHS) contracts for foster parent recruitment and retention in each of the state’s five regions. In the most recent contracts, DHA stipulates that the contractors must use the One Caseworker Model, which requires that the same staff person is assigned to work with each resource family through the recruitment and retention process -- from training to licensing and approval, through matching, and on to support and closure. The caseworkers become very familiar with their resource families, which allows them to recommend better placement matches, introduce enhanced child management techniques, tailor the training that the foster parent receives, and provide background knowledge to help the family meet the child's needs. Caseworkers are also charged with knowing the resource families’ ability to work with a child’s birth parents, extended family, and how the family supports a child’s connections to birth family, siblings, culture, and community.

See the playbook and Iowa's diligent recruitment plan for more information.

Data-driven recruitment and retention

Iowa uses performance-based contracts with two private agencies for recruitment, retention, training and support (RRTS). Performance measures are Placement Stability; Recruitment/Retention (overall net increase in families); Recruitment/Retention (increase in non-white families); and Enhanced Foster Homes. The state Department of Human Services provides data to contractors to determine recruitment goals and targets based on the age, race and ethnicity of every child who enters and exits foster care each week. Contractors use a database called CareMatch to match a child with a family, based on the family’s strengths, skills, location and other factors.

See Iowa's diligent recruitment plan for more information.