Family Foster Care and Kinship Care (CA-FKC) 17: Resource Family Recruitment
The organization recruits a diverse array of resource families to maximize opportunities for children to be placed in a family setting that effectively meets their needs.
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PurposeChildren in Family Foster Care and Kinship Care live in safe, stable, nurturing, and often temporary family settings that best provide the continuity of care to preserve relationships, promote well-being, and ensure permanency.
Examples: Recruitment activities may include child-specific and kin recruitment as well as recruitment for traditional foster care.
- Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
- Procedures need strengthening; or
- With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
- For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
- Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
- Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
- Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
- Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
- Timeframes are often missed; or
- Several client records are missing important information; or
- Client participation is inconsistent.
- No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or
- Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.
|Self-Study Evidence||On-Site Evidence||On-Site Activities|
The organization establishes an annual resource family recruitment plan that:
- is based on the collection and analysis of local data on the needs and characteristics of children in care and characteristics of successful resource families;
- identifies targeted recruitment strategies corresponding to the greatest identified needs;
- establishes a framework for child-specific recruitment; and
- is evaluated annually.
Examples: Organizations can use data to inform recruitment plans by tracking, for example:
- activities with highest efficacy and associated outputs, such as completion of training, successful licensure, successful placement, and retention;
- milestones in the recruitment or approval process that correlate with disengagement; and
- characteristics to pre-screen for or against in order to focus resources on the most promising prospective resource parents.
Examples: A recruitment plan can specify how carefully crafted language, images, and strategies, including partnerships with key stakeholders, can help the organization reach out and appeal to audiences who may be willing and able to foster or adopt children in need of homes, including children with special placement needs (e.g., sibling groups; older children; children with physical, emotional, behavioural, and developmental challenges; children of minority racial or ethnic groups; LGBTQ children; and youth who are pregnant or parenting.) Targeted recruitment strategies can include:
- looking for prospective resource parents for youth among high school parents and coaches, and after school programs for teens;
- engaging specific cultural organizations, churches, or minority-owned businesses to recruit resource families from particular ethnic or racial groups; and/or
- outreach to healthcare professionals, individuals with experience working with people with disabilities, and accessible housing communities to recruit resource families for children with disabilities or acute medical conditions.
Other key stakeholders can include:
- family foster care alumni;
- current resource parents, especially for treatment foster care recruitment;
- community leaders; and
- other organizations, agencies, institutions, and businesses in the community.
Intensive child-specific recruitment strategies include identifying all adults with a connection to the child to consider serving as resource parents or identify other potential resource parents, and involving the child to identify preferences and potential resource parents.
To help prospective resource families determine if providing care would be a positive experience for both their family and the children that could enter their care, the organization provides general, culturally-responsive information about:
- eligibility requirements;
- the certification process, timeline, and requirements, including the resource family training and assessment experience;
- available supports and services;
- any applicable fees and reimbursements;
- the roles, responsibilities, and needed competencies of resource parents;
- what resource families should expect when they take in a child;
- common needs and characteristics of children in care in the local community;
- the organization's treatment and parenting philosophies; and
- next steps in the process.
Example: Implementation of element (h) can include providing information about the basic principles of trauma-informed care and positive behaviour support.
Prospective resource families are engaged in the recruitment process through:
- a welcoming and supportive approach;
- equitable, timely, sensitive, and culturally-responsive support and follow-up at each step of the process;
- personalized contact with existing resource families; and
- open houses, orientations, and training sessions that are accessible and inviting to all prospective resource families.
Examples: Contact with existing resource families, including the use of peer mentors, can support recruitment and preparation for the resource family role by providing prospective resource families with opportunities to:
- better conceptualize the needs of children in care and the lived experience of caring for them;
- observe, practice, and be coached on parenting techniques and/or treatment interventions through role play or real-life scenarios;
- affirm their capacity to grow into the role and successfully develop new competencies;
- learn about available support networks and resources; and
- ask questions or voice concerns they are reluctant to share with workers.