Policies on Providing Timely Staff & Peer Support to Foster Parents

Providing Timely Staff & Peer Support to Foster Parents graphic

Financial Incentives in Foster Parent Recruitment

Arizona’s new contracts with private agencies include financial incentives for recruitment of families based on age and special needs of children needing homes. The contracts also call for a higher level of support to caregivers. The contract for congregate care includes a financial incentive of $1,000 for each youth’s successful transition to a less restrictive placement.

See Arizona's diligent recruitment plan for more information.

Ventura County, CA Foster Health Link

This public/private initiative, launched in 2015, provides caregivers secure electronic access to up-to-date health information about the children in their care. Prior to 2015, caseworkers were required to deliver to foster parents paper copies of health records that were often out of date and fragmentary. Foster Health Link is a website and mobile application that pulls current health and education data from the state’s Child Welfare Services Case Management System (CWS/CMS) and the county health care agency regarding children’s immunizations, allergies, medical conditions, medications, well child physical and dental exams, Medi-Cal enrollment, as well as educational records.

See the playbook for more information.

Strategies to Support First Placement in Family Settings

Washington, D.C. has reduced reliance on congregate care by 75 percent between 2005 and 2015.  This brief features key strategies used in Washington, DC in support of family-based care including: a kin unit dedicated to identifying and engaging relative caregivers; a foster parent support unit; a border agreement with Maryland to allow relatives to be licensed across state lines for emergency placement; and a policy that requires the deputy director to approve when a child is placed in a group care setting.

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

Quality Parenting Initiative/Florida Partnership Plan

The Quality Parenting Initiative (QPI) is a statewide approach to strengthening foster care in Florida, and in numerous other jurisdictions. Launched in Florida in 2008, QPI focuses on implementing policies and practices that support excellent parenting for all children in the child welfare system. One important policy related to ensuring excellent parenting is Florida’s partnership plan, which is being implemented across the state as part of regular case practice. The partnership plan is a signed statement that articulates a shared understanding between caregivers and agency staff of the goals and responsibilities they each have to ensure excellent parenting for each child in foster care. The partnership plan is a clear framework to guide a strong working partnership between caregivers and agency staff on behalf of the child’s well-being. Among other things, the partnership plan emphasizes the importance of information sharing and inclusion of foster parents in team meetings and court hearings.

See the playbook 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.