1.1 Diligent Recruitment
The Multi-Ethnic Placement Act (1994) requires state agencies to make diligent efforts to recruit potential resource families that reflect the diversity of children in out of home care. Diligent recruitment refers to the systematic process of recruiting, retaining, and supporting resource parents who reflect the diversity of children who need placement.
Diligent recruitment best practices include:
- Using a Customer Service model to positively communicate with families;
- Training and supporting resource parents in their role as caregivers; and
- Engaging in continuous quality improvement efforts by collecting and evaluating data.
There are three types of recruitment efforts:
- General Recruitment broadcasts a call for foster and adoptive parents and builds public awareness and interest. This is done, for example, through advertising or by setting up an information table at a community event.
- Targeted Recruitment refers to efforts to find foster and adoptive parents who can meet particular needs of children in care. Agency administrative and demographic data are used to determine the characteristics of current foster and adoptive parents and of the children in care. Recruitment efforts are then targeted to potential resource parents who can meet the unique placement needs of certain children, such as sibling groups, older youth, or children with medical needs.
- Child-Specific Recruitment refers to efforts to recruit a foster or adoptive family for a specific child or sibling group.
Each circuit is responsible for developing, implementing and evaluating an annual Resource Provider Recruitment Plan. Local partnerships established during the development of the Recruitment Plan ensure a well-rounded, locally specific approach that identifies community resources which can assist in meeting recruitment goals. Development of the Recruitment Plan should be facilitated by Children’s Division and include collaboration with:
- Foster Care Ambassadors;
- Existing foster, adoptive and respite providers;
- Court Partners;
- Local Contracted Agencies;
- Community Stakeholders;
- Faith-Based Groups;
- Local Businesses;
- Nonprofit Organizations;
- Any other community partners who have expressed an interest in supporting the agency’s efforts to recruit foster homes.
The Circuit Manager, or their designee, will:
- Review and approve the annual Recruitment Plan before submitting it to Central Office by January 31st of each year;
- Ensure all circuit team members are provided with and understand the Recruitment Plan;
- Encourage and provide opportunities for all circuit team members to participate in recruitment events;
- Share the Recruitment Plan and opportunities to participate in recruitment events with community stakeholders;
- Submit Recruitment events to DSS Communications for announcement.