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May 2019Vol. 20, No. 4Keeping Prospective Foster and Adoptive Parents Engaged Before Placement

For a prospective adoptive or foster family, waiting for its placement to be finalized can be a challenging time. Families can get frustrated with the amount of time it takes and can be anxious to have a child placed with them. It is important for child welfare professionals to keep these families engaged to reduce the chance they drop out. AdoptUSKids has created a tip sheet that showcases eight ideas to help child welfare professionals keep these families engaged:

  • While-you-wait support groups
  • Mentoring from buddy families
  • Prospective parents supporting current families
  • Regular check-ins
  • Organized social events
  • Targeted training
  • Resource sharing
  • Encouragement for prospective parents to develop their support network

These ideas focus on creating a web of information and support for the families, giving them spaces and opportunities to voice concerns they may not feel comfortable sharing with their caseworkers, affording them opportunities to learn and refine parenting skills, and providing them insight into life as an adoptive or foster family. While it is important to provide support to families while they wait to adopt or have a child placed with them, they also need support throughout the continuum of the child placement process. Building the foundation of support before the placement is finalized is a good opportunity to integrate other forms of long-term support for families.

Read the tip sheet, How to Keep Prospective Foster and Adoptive Parents Engaged Before Placement, at (143 KB).