E-Notes, the monthly newsletter from the National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment at AdoptUSKids.
National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment at AdoptUSKids / E-Notes

Preparing for APSRs

Group of professionals gathered around a conference table We encourage states, tribes, and territories to begin working on updating your diligent recruitment plans early as you get ready to submit your Annual Progress and Services Reports (APSRs) in June. A plan that reflects your current practice and context, available data, lessons learned, and input from your staff and stakeholders will be a useful tool that helps your system in several ways:

  • Saving time and resources by taking into account what is working (and what isn’t) and taking advantage of opportunities for partnerships
  • Strengthening ongoing communication by including clear shared goals among stakeholders
  • Providing a guide to your work as you move forward in recruiting, developing, and supporting families to meet the needs of children and youth in care

5 easy things you can do to start updating your plan

  1. Schedule at least a couple of conversations with colleagues or other key stakeholders to discuss ideas for updates to your diligent recruitment plan. You could select some customized questions from the Diligent Recruitment Navigator to guide your discussions.
  2. Consider the data you need and ask for any data reports that are available to you early so that you can have the information in time to inform your plan. Visit the NRCDR website for resources and tools and tips on using data to inform your diligent recruitment plan.
  3. Register for the upcoming NRCDR webinar on the power of an effective response system, which will help you explore how to respond effectively to families who inquire about foster care or adoption. Invite key colleagues and stakeholders to participate as well.
  4. Create a folder—either at your desk or on your computer—to organize and store materials related to your diligent recruitment plan. Use our “Diligent Recruitment Navigator Worksheet” (Word – 33 KB) to help you keep track of discussions, data, decisions, and strategies that you identify as you work on updating your diligent recruitment plan. Save the worksheet in your folder so that it is ready to use.
  5. Block off time in your calendar to begin to work on next steps.

Other steps you can take

Creating and updating a comprehensive diligent recruitment plan requires time and involving key stakeholders. Break this process down into manageable tasks and reach out for partnership and support.

  • Build a team. Develop a list of who will need to be involved in this process. Begin to communicate about how you can work together. Engaging key stakeholders will help you build buy-in and enthusiasm for the plan.
  • Review your current plan and any available data about your child welfare system’s work to recruit, develop, and support families. Ask colleagues and other stakeholders to review the information in preparation for your discussions.
  • Collaboratively create a basic timeline and shared work plan for the process. What are the steps? When do they need to happen? Who will be responsible for each step?
  • Cover for Recruiting Families for Native American Children: Strengthening Partnerships for SuccessOpen or continue discussions about state-tribal coordination. Remember that the Children’s Bureau’s guidance on developing Child and Family Services Plans (CFSPs) requires states to consult with tribes on these plans. Access our publication Recruiting Families for Native American Children: Strengthening Partnerships for Success (PDF – 115 KB) for strategies for developing and strengthening partnerships between state child welfare systems and tribal child welfare systems.
  • Cover for Data-Driven Recruitment: Key Data Elements on Foster and Adoptive FamiliesIdentify priority data elements that you need for planning and monitoring the effectiveness of your diligent recruitment efforts. You can start with our publication, Data-Driven Recruitment: Key Data Elements on Foster and Adoptive Families (PDF – 487 KB). Explore ways you could collect the data you will need to assess and inform the plan now or as you move forward with implementation.
  • Capture new insights. Begin making notes about what your system has learned and changes that have taken place since your plan was created or last updated.
  • Learn from others. Explore plans created by other states and tribes for ideas and sample plans (looking at their format, length, level of detail, etc.). You can find other system’s diligent recruitment plans in the Child and Family Services Plans (CFSPs) and APSRs through the Children’s Bureau’s database. Consider what will work best for your system.
  • Visit the NRCDR website to browse ideas for recruitment strategies.
  • Cover for Using Integrated Recruitment and Support to Build a Strong Pool of Foster, Adoptive, and Kinship FamiliesThink beyond recruitment. Keep in mind that diligent recruitment is about much more than just recruiting new families. Explore ways to strengthen your approach to developing and supporting families in an ongoing way so families can continue to meet the needs of children and youth in care. You may also want to explore ways to increase the integration of your recruitment and support efforts; our publication, Using Integrated Recruitment and Support to Build a Strong Pool of Foster, Adoptive, and Kinship Families (PDF – 139 KB), offers helpful ideas.
  • Contact us for help! Consider getting additional support with the process for updating your plan. Reach out to the NRCDR for information and resources, barrier-busting phone calls, on- or off-site technical assistance, and connections to peers.

News and announcements

Register now: NRCDR peer-to-peer meeting: Recruiting, Developing, and Supporting Resource Families in Rural Communities

Thursday, February 25, 3:00-4:30 p.m. eastern


Child welfare professionals from states, tribes, and territories, and their partners in rural recruitment, are invited to participate in an interactive, virtual peer-to-peer meeting on February 25. Facilitators will provide information about resources and relationships in rural communities and discuss approaches and strategies for recruiting, developing, and supporting foster, kinship, and adoptive families in rural communities. Participants will have the opportunity to talk with peers about their strategies, resources, successes, challenges, and lessons learned.


The meeting will be facilitated by Rebekah ("Becky") Main, NRCDR tribal child welfare specialist, and Kathleen Belanger, NRCDR consultant specializing in rural child welfare.


Register to participate in the call.

New NRCDR webinar: First Impressions: The Power of an Effective Response System

This webinar will address the importance of planning, implementing, and continuously assessing your system for responding to resource family inquiries as an integral component of your integrated diligent recruitment process. Presenters will provide an overview of key concepts related to effective response systems and will discuss ways in which your response system offers a critical opportunity to set resource family expectations and provide consistent, timely information. There are a variety of possible ways of structuring response systems, and this webinar will help participants explore considerations in selecting an approach or structure for handling responses to inquiries from prospective families. Presenters will also offer examples of concrete steps that child welfare systems can take to improve their response system and connect it to other aspects of their work to recruit, develop, and support families.


The webinar will be held in March or April. Registration information and a complete webinar description will be posted on our webinars page later this month and distributed in the March E-Notes. Request to be notified about the date of this and other upcoming webinars.


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AdoptUSKids is operated by the Adoption Exchange Association and is made possible by grant number 90CQ0002 from the Children’s Bureau. The contents of this email are solely the responsibility of the Adoption Exchange Association and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Children’s Bureau, ACYF, ACF, or HHS. The Children’s Bureau funds AdoptUSKids as part of a network of National Resource Centers established by the Children’s Bureau. Find out more about us.

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