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  • Why diligent recruitment matters

  • June 13, 2024

  • We often talk about what all of the components of effective diligent recruitment plans and programs are, but it’s also important to be clear on why diligent recruitment work is such an invaluable practice for improving outcomes. In other words, how we do diligent recruitment work matters, but we also need to remember why diligent recruitment matters.

    Minimizing additional trauma
    Children and youth in foster care have already been removed from much of who they know and what’s familiar to them. Entering foster care qualifies as its own traumatic event, in addition to any trauma children and youth experienced in their previous environment. We need to have strong approaches for minimizing further loss and trauma once children are in foster care. Effective, data-driven diligent recruitment offers ways to achieve this. 

    Addressing children and youth’s specific needs
    When child welfare systems remove children and youth from their families, these children and youth deserve a child welfare system that has foster, adoptive, and kinship families who are prepared, equipped, and supported to address the specific (and often complex) needs of the children and youth in their care. Comprehensive diligent recruitment strategies and practices can help us ensure that we have foster, adoptive, and kinship families ready to support children and youth’s safety, connections, and well-being.

    Children and youth in foster care have unique needs. They may include needs related to their mental and physical health, behavioral challenges, LGBTQIA+ identity, racial or ethnic identity, and maintaining cultural or family connections.

    Valuing children and youth’s cultural needs and connections
    A key focus of diligent recruitment is recruiting and retaining families who reflect the race, ethnicity, and culture of the children and youth in foster care. Families who know what it is to live and look like those in the children and youth in their care are best suited to help them maintain connections to their cultural identities, communities, and families of origin.  

    Improving experiences in foster care and outcomes
    Diligent recruitment gives us ways that we can help improve children and youth’s experiences and outcomes in multiple areas, including:  

    • Placement stability 
    • Maintaining sibling connections  
    • Reduced maltreatment in care  
    • Increased kinship placements   
    • Timely permanency 

    All children and youth in foster care deserve to have their needs met. Diligent recruitment provides a path for us to help meet their needs and improve their outcomes.  


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