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November 2013Vol. 14, No. 8Diligent Recruitment Requirements

The National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment (NRCDR) at AdoptUSKids works with child welfare agencies to improve the safety, permanency, well-being, and outcomes for children in foster care through comprehensive diligent recruitment plans. NRCDR also provides information, training, and technical assistance to States and Tribes to help ensure that their diligent recruitment plans include necessary elements. In a recently published tip sheet, NRCDR details the requirements for State diligent recruitment plans and programs.

Passed by Congress in 1994, the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA), as amended, is intended to prevent delays or discrimination in foster care or adoption placements based on the race, color, or national origin of the child or parents and to promote the recruitment and retention of ethnically and racially diverse foster and adoptive parents. NRCDR's tip sheet lists eight specific elements that States must include in their plans for the diligent recruitment of such parents in order to meet MEPA requirements. These include descriptions and characteristics of waiting children, strategies for training staff to work with diverse community members, and strategies for overcoming language barriers.

The tip sheet provides a brief description of Child and Family Service Plans (CFSP) and points to guidance from the Children's Bureau for States and Tribes on CFSPs for more information. Diligent recruitment programs should include specific elements in order to successfully improve permanency outcomes for children, and the tip sheet details elements such as:

  • General, targeted, and child-specific recruitment
  • Procedures to ensure that all prospective parents have access to the home study process
  • Procedures and processes to eliminate barriers to the interjurisdictional placement of children

To learn more, access What Is Diligent Recruitment? on NRCDR's website: (163 KB)