Foster parent recruitment efforts not only promote a positive picture of foster care but also are beneficial in raising awareness of the need for foster parents in the child welfare system. There are several methods of recruiting foster parents. Ideal methods are generally targeted towards families and designed to reach a large audience of potential foster parents.
A foster parent appreciation luncheon or dinner is an opportunity to recruit potential parents. Encourage the current foster parents being recognized to invite anyone who might be interested in becoming a foster parent or learning about the foster parent process. The luncheon may include a guest speaker, such as a staff member or a long-time foster parent. Include small appreciation gifts from the honorees and a video presentation from currently placed foster children to encourage potential parents.
An enjoyable method of recruiting potential foster parents it to hold a foster kids event at a local mall. This event will serve as a venue for foster care information sharing, and the high amount of foot traffic through a mall will deliver potential foster parents who may not be reachable through smaller recruitment efforts. Have local agencies set up information booths in one area of the mall. Supply snacks, and hire face painters and photographers to make the event family friendly.
Utilizing local churches for finding potential foster parents is a free and effective method of recruiting. There are several different ways to utilize a local church. Place an ongoing announcement regarding the need for foster parents in the Sunday bulletin, making sure to include contact information for anyone who might have questions. Arrange to visit a church every few months, and set up a small table in the back after service to answer questions and provide general information about foster parenting.
Selling wristbands is an effective way to raise awareness of the need for foster families as well as raise funds for the local foster care agency or other causes. Order the wristbands in a uniform color, printed with the name and phone number of the local foster care agency, and distribute with a card containing additional information regarding the foster care process. This idea is especially effective during the month of May, which is National Foster Care Month.
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