2 R Step 2-1 Prospective Family Engagement Process

Recruit & retain foster families in school districts with high rates of foster care placements.

Learn more about Recruiting and Retaining Families

Students are more likely to remain in their home school if there are foster homes available in their home community. Local placements lessen the need for complicated transportation plans and written agreements between school/child welfare districts. Furthermore, youth who remain local can more easily participate in familiar extra-curricular activities and maintain contact with friends and family members.Everyone can have a role in recruiting foster families in their community. This can mean assisting in development of a recruitment plan in local schools, churches or non-profit organizations, supporting the DCF Resource Coordinator in their efforts to engage new resource homes or thanking an existing foster family for their efforts.

Step 1: Plan and Recruit Local Resource Families

Develop a targeted recruitment plan and successfully recruit new resource families in school districts with largest proportion of youth in the child welfare system.

R Step 1-1 Recruitment and Educational Stability – the Why, Who, and How
An overview of the connection between strong resource family recruitment and educational stability, as well as ways develop an effective recruitment structure.

R Step 1-2 Resource Family Recruitment is Everyone’s Job

From the District Director to the person who answers the telephone, family finding and recruitment is everybody at DCF’s job.  Here are several ways in which recruitment can be part of everybody’s job.

R Step 1-3 Working With Your Partners In Service

PINS Partners are an invaluable resource to each district. These are teams of civic-­minded volunteers from local groups with a goal to support area children.

R Step 1-4 Steps For Building a Recruitment Plan

Step-by-step guide to building an annual recruitment plan.

R Step 1-5 Why Is Recruitment So Important

A solid recruitment plan advances educational well-being for children and youth in foster care because it leads a greater variety of resource parents in a given town.



R Step 1-6 Recruitment Plan Calendar

Sample Recruitment Calendar to help Resource Coordinators develop an annual plan.

R Step 1-7 Sample Child Descriptions

Sample child descriptions or family recuitment.

R Step 1-8 Foster-Kin Family Referral Letter – Happy Holidays

A sample letter to requesting referrals of Resource Families for DCF staff to later contact about becoming Resource Families.

R Step 1-9 General Press Release Template

A sample press release highlighting the need for foster parents.

R Step 1-10 Rural Recruitment PPT
Vermont Recruitment presentation from Project Family Rural Recruitment and Retention


Step 2: Engage Prospective Resource Families to Move Them from Inquiry to Care-giving

R Step 2-1 Prospective Family Engagement Process
Moving a family from their initial inquiry to placing a child in their home – keeping track of the details and providing good customer service.

R Step 2-2 Family Finding
Strategies for locating and supporting kin or fictive kin to become resource parents.


R Step 2-3 Becoming a Resource Family Checklist
A checklist for prospective resource families of the tasks that need to be completed as part of the application process.

R Step 2-4 Genogram and Connections of Affection for Family Finding
A genogram and connections tool to assist in finding kin and fictive kin.

R Step 2-5 Foster/Kin Family Pre-Screen Form
A form for collecting basic information about prospective resource families.

R Step 2-6 Six Steps to Find a Family
A Practice Guide to Family Search and Engagement – developed by the National Center for Family Centered Practice and Permanency Placement

Step 3: Make Residential Placements with Educational Well-being in Mind.

R Step 3-1 Quality Placements Support Permanency and Educational Stability 
Discusses the connection between placing a child in the appropriate resource home and their achieving permanency and educational stability.  Provides strategies.


R Step 3-2 Referral for Out of Home Placement
R Step 3-3 Emergency Placement Cheat sheet
R Step 3-4 Placement and School Form
R Step 3-5 Placement Checklist and Medical Authorization


Step 4: Retain Current Resource Families by Providing Support and Recognition

Support and train existing foster families to maintain placements and educational stability.

R Step 4-1 Resource Family Retention Overview

R Step 4-2 Planning a Retention Event

R Step 4-3 May Is National Foster Care Month

R Step 4-4 Resource Parent Spotlight

Resource Parent Spotlight is a way to support individual resource families for their efforts with working with our system and the children. This type of event has a dual purpose and that is to inform the staff about the family and what their strengths are.


R Step 4-5 Letter to Editor Foster Care Month

R Step 4-6 Foster care month PINS letter

R Step 4-7 Foster Care Month School PR Letter #1

R Step 4-8 Foster Care Month School Letter and Press Release


Step 5 : Reflect on Recruitment and Retention Success and Areas for Improvement

Capture input on the successes and/or challenges of placements and review that information to develop a the strongest possible recruitment, placement and retention strategies.

R Step 5-1 Review Recruitment, Placement and Retention Results and Reflect for the Future


R Step 5-2 Exit Survey for Social Workers

R Step 5-3 Exit Survey for the Child

R Step 5-4 Exit Survey for the Family