In continuing to celebrate National Foster Care Month, CCAI hosted a briefing last week to discuss what the federal government can be doing to improve parent recruitment for youth in foster care.
In an effort to bring lessons learned in the field to impact federal legislation, CCAI convened this briefing to present data and trends in foster care, and share lessons learned from successful parents recruitment models. This briefing examined data related to older youth, who more frequently languish in care and are more likely to age out of care without any promise of permanence. Agency representatives shared information about their innovative recruitment models and how federal policy was supporting their work or if policy barriers needed to be removed to allow for best practices to be used in the field.
The panel spoke to over 40 Congressional staff and adoption professionals. Click here or on the image below to view the full footage of the briefing. Also, the materials presented are available at CCAI’s website. Be sure to check back in a few days for a 2-page in-depth summary of lessons learned that were presented at the briefing.
The panel echoed the need for an increase in federal funding to support post-adoption services. In addition, several unique components of their models were shared, including:
1. Using local TV and radio media to raise awareness in the community
2. Using child-focused recruitment to identify any connections the youth may already have to caring adults that could become an adoptive parents, such as a teacher, mentor, or extended family member.
3. Using the same software and technology that debt collectors use to find extended family members who may be adoption options.
4. Bringing agency representatives to recruitment events so that adults start the adoption process before even leaving the event where they have just heard from youth themselves, social workers, and other adoptive parents.
5. Allowing relationships to build naturally by using a mentor-to-adopt model.