• November 2010
  • Vol. 11, No. 9

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The Diligent Recruitment Grantees

The Children's Bureau's Adoption Opportunities program provides discretionary funds to projects designed to eliminate barriers to adoption and help find permanent families for children. In October 2008, eight grantees were selected to address the diligent recruitment of families for children in the foster care system. Each grantee is currently developing and implementing a comprehensive, multifaceted diligent recruitment program for kinship, foster, concurrent, and adoptive families, with the ultimate goal of improving permanency outcomes for children and youth.

The eight grantees are:

  • Oklahoma Department of Human Services – Oklahoma City, OK
  • Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services – Cleveland, OH
  • County of Santa Cruz – Santa Cruz, CA
  • City and County of Denver – Denver, CO
  • New York State Office of Children and Family Services – Rensselaer, NY
  • Missouri Department of Social Services – Jefferson City, MO
  • Kentucky Department for Community Based Services – Frankfurt, KY
  • Ramsey County Community Human Services Department – St. Paul, MN

The AdoptUsKids website summarizes each grantee project and provides access to materials produced by the grantees. Highlighted below are some of the strategies the grantees plan to implement as part of their efforts to enhance the diligent recruitment of families for children and youth:

  • Organize a community event (e.g., resource fair, panel discussion, fundraiser) to raise awareness of the need for resource families and increase community support
  • Ensure recruitment efforts reflect the demographics of children and youth in the community
  • Streamline and improve the application and approval process for resource families
  • Develop a customer service model that uses a call center or web portal to support resource parents and prospective parents
  • Offer multiformat training for both staff and resource families in high-need topic areas
  • Increase the number of dually licensed homes that can provide permanency if family reunification fails
  • Use "extreme recruitment," an intensive 12-20 week individualized recruitment effort for children and youth in foster care
  • Involve neighborhood partners (e.g., a paraprofessional navigator or youth specialist) in the process of identifying connections for youth aging out of foster care
  • Establish a mechanism for receiving continuous input from stakeholders (i.e., current and former foster youth, resource parents, community leaders, and staff) to guide program development and evaluation

Visit the AdoptUsKids website for more information on the diligent recruitment grantees:

http://adoptuskids.org/professionalResourceCenter/diligent-recruitment

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