- May/June 2001
- Vol. 2, No. 3
Attracting and Supporting Foster Families
Research confirms what practitioners already know—the number of children entering foster care keeps climbing, and the number of foster families is not keeping pace. A new release from the Casey Family Programs National Center for Resource Family Support (CNC) aims to help by providing a foundation for recruitment and retention efforts.
Lighting the Way: Attracting and Supporting Foster Families details 10 broad principles for promoting stable foster placements. CNC based the work on a review of published research and interviews with more than 30 practitioners and child welfare experts.
The document proposes that the following principles should guide agencies and practitioners who work with foster families:
- Develop clear agency values, assumptions, and goals
- Create organizational structures that facilitate good practice
- Seek and rebuild collaborations
- Clarify roles and responsibilities
- Emphasize responsiveness and inclusivity in recruitment
- Help families to be competent
- Find the right family for the right child
- Support teamwork and partnerships between social workers, foster families and birth families
- Provide sufficient concrete and emotional support to allow foster families to do their jobs well
- Give families a voice in the system.
The report explains the research and thought behind each principle and gives examples of the principles in action.
Both the full report and executive summary can be downloaded from the CNC website at http://www.casey.org/cnc/recruitment/lighting_the_way.htm. (This link is no longer available.) Request printed copies by calling Mindy Rechel at 206-352-4292, or by contacting:
Casey National Center for Resource Family Support
1808 Eye Street, NW 5th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20006
Toll Free: 888-295-6727
Access A Community Outreach Handbook for Recruiting Foster Parents and Volunteers online at: www.hunter.cuny.edu/socwork/nrcfcpp/downloads/recruiting-foster-parents.pdf or order a print copy from the Child Welfare League of America at 800-407-6273.
See "Recruiting Families for Special Needs Children" in the May 2000 issue of the Children's Bureau Express about recruiting families for special needs children.