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Diligent recruitment 101

Diligent recruitment is the strategic approach of child welfare agencies to identify and retain foster and adoptive families to meet the needs of children in foster care. 

More than working hard to recruit families, diligent recruitment involves child welfare agencies using data-driven, comprehensive best practices to engage families who reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the children in their agency’s care and who can meet their needs.  

Diligent recruitment practice includes the following concepts: 

  • Using data to quantify and describe the children and youth in your system and their ages, races, ethnicities, and special needs.
  • Focused recruitment—recruiting families that match the needs of your children and youth.
  • Family support—retaining and supporting adoptive, foster, and kinship families.
  • Applying customer service models to support foster, adoptive, and kinship families.
  • Child-specific recruitment—finding the right family for an individual child.
  • Youth engagement—involving youth in decision-making about their future.
  • Equity in diligent recruitment.
  • Hearing youth voice—the importance of listening to and learning from young people in care.
  • Removing systemic barriers to licensing families and improving permanency outcomes.
A family of four standing closely together outdoors smiling and taking a group selfie.

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