Recruitment and Retention of Resource Families

Resources Covering Both Recruitment and Retention

  • Building Successful Resource Families: A Guide for Public Agencies
    For nearly two decades, the Annie E. Casey Foundation has worked with a range of city and state human service departments to promote child welfare reform. While each jurisdiction has presented unique challenges, finding and keeping high-quality resource families has been a common struggle. These challenges include short supply, lack of appropriate support and training, and the need for a systematic approach to building capacity in this important area. The goal of this Annie E. Casey guide is to leverage their experience with different jurisdictions by sharing information and encouraging the use of best practices in working with resource families. Additional resources (Appendices 1-28 and Role Cards) are available for download.  The guide was authored by Denise Goodman, Ph.D. and Frank Steinfield. (2012)

  • Recruitment and Retention of Resource Families: Promising Practices and Lessons Learned
    This report from Casey Family Programs illustrates the use of the Breakthrough Series Collaborative (BSC) methodology and describes the successful strategies and lessons learned by the twenty-two public child welfare agencies who participated in this BSC on Recruitment and Retention. (June 2005)
  • Listening to Parents: Overcoming Barriers to the Adoption of Children From Foster Care
    This study was designed to explore the question of why, despite an increasing demand for children to adopt and active adoptive family recruitment efforts, few “general applicants” (those who were not the children's relatives or foster parents) adopt children from foster care. It makes a number of recommendations in the areas of screening vs recruitment of families, first contact, matching, training, use of a buddy system, and listening to prospective parents. (January 2005)
  • Working with African American Adoptive, Foster and Kinship Families
    This guide was developed by AdoptUsKids to assist public and private child welfare staff in their work with prospective and current African American foster, adoptive and kinship families. It is important to remember that there is no “one size fits all” description of African American families. Rather, African American families, like all families, are diverse with various beliefs, values, and socioeconomic experiences. The guide includes the following sections: A historical perspective; strengths of African Americans; Tips to Remember; Additional Information (with resources).

Resources on Recruitment

  • Handout from the Rural Adoption Recruiter
    Planting Methods - Recruiting Techniques: ideas for recruiting in rural areas. (2008)

  • Diligent Recruitment Navigator
    The National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment (NRCDR) at AdoptUSKids offers a customizable tool to support States, Tribes, and Territories in developing comprehensive, multi-faceted Diligent Recruitment programs. The NRCDR’s Diligent Recruitment Navigator is customizable, with information tailored to address the unique structure and considerations of an individual child welfare system.  It provides detailed questions for discussion during Diligent Recruitment planning and offers customized suggestions for colleagues and stakeholders to include in Diligent Recruitment planning. 

Resources on Retention

  • Relationship Between Public Child Welfare Workers, Resource Families and Birth Families: Preventing the Triangulation of the Triangle of Support
    In this paper written for the NRCPFC, consultant Lorrie L. Lutz, M.P.P., discusses lessons learned in facilitated dialogues around the country with birth families, resource families, and child welfare workers. Insights from each of these partners in the care of children in the child welfare system reveal why agencies struggle with the process of building relationships among these three sets of people so important in the life of a child. Yet challenging or not, if a child is to be well served, it is the responsibility of public child welfare systems to find a way to build relationships between these three components and to preventing the triangulation of the triangle of support around the child. (March 2005)
  • Retaining Foster Parents
    This report was developed by the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Health and Human Services. It focuses on States' efforts to recruit foster care families. (May 2002)

Resources from the States

  • Ohio:
    • An Eye on Recruitment: Who Are Ohio's Adoptive Families?
      This PowerPoint Presentation was developed for Adoption Services Section, Office for Children and Families, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. It was designed to assist ODJFS in identifying where it needs to focus its recruitment and retention efforts for prospective adoptive parents to ensure that all of its children achieve permanency. (September 2005)
  • New York:
    • Supporting the Needs of Foster Parents: Recommendations
      These recommendations from the New York State Office of Children & Family Services resulted from the analysis of the findings from a Foster Parent Training and Support Assessment that was conducted with foster parents and foster care workers statewide. The recommendations are intended to assist local districts and voluntary agencies in assessing and supporting their partnerships with foster parents. (May 2005)
  • North Carolina:
    • A Best Practice Guide to Partnering With Resource Families
      This guide, produced by the North Carolina Division of Social Services with support from Jordan Institute for Families, seeks to provide tools and strategies you and your agency can use to build, refine, and sustain partnerships with resource families. (January 2009)

PowerPoint Presentations



Last updated 1/30/14