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

May is National Foster Care Month and June is National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month. These months provide opportunities for honoring families, raising awareness, and recruiting new resource families. The tools and tips in this issue of E-Notes can help your agency get ready to engage, develop, and support families as part of these initiatives. Additionally, as you prepare for the APSRs due in June, you may find our new resources helpful for developing or updating your diligent recruitment plan.

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New tools to help you develop recruitment plans and programs

We are excited to announce two new resources we created to help child welfare systems develop recruitment plans and programs.

  • Cover for Developing Recruitment Plans: A Toolkit for States and TribesDeveloping Recruitment Plans: A Toolkit for States and Tribes (329 KB PDF)
    This toolkit is a resource to help child welfare agencies develop data-driven recruitment plans. It offers ideas for creating short-term plans, targeted recruitment plans focused on particular populations or areas, and comprehensive diligent recruitment plans. This publication provides ideas and strategies to consider, examples of ways to develop recruitment plans, tools you can use in your planning processes and adapt to meet your needs, key considerations, worksheets to help you analyze your data and use it for planning, and suggestions for other resources and information to help with developing recruitment plans. It also highlights ways to use other NRCDR publications and AdoptUSKids resources to support your recruitment-planning process.
  • Cover for Diligent Recruitment Planning Tool for Tribes: A Tribal Supplment to the Diligent Recruitment NavigatorDiligent Recruitment Planning Tool for Tribes: A Tribal Supplement to the Diligent Recruitment Navigator (107 KB PDF)
    This new tool is designed specifically for tribal child welfare systems, providing an easy-to-use guide for discussions to develop a comprehensive diligent recruitment plan and program. It highlights key elements and information from the NRCDR’s extensive Diligent Recruitment Navigator and offers additional customized content for tribes. This brief tool includes ideas for discussion questions and people to include in planning discussions. It can be used either as a companion to the full Diligent Recruitment Navigator or on its own.

Get ready for National Foster Care Month: Honoring, Uniting, and Celebrating Families

Home page image of 2016 National Foster Care Month siteIn 2014, more than 400,000 children and youth were in foster care in the United States. Reunification with the birth family is both the most common goal for children in foster care as well as the most common outcome. May is National Foster Care Month, and the Children's Bureau's National Foster Care Month website provides free resources and tools to help professionals support and educate youth, birth parents, foster parents, and caregivers as they work toward reunification and supporting reunification, depending on their role.

Here are five easy ways professionals can help support efforts for reunification:

  1. Share real-life stories with youth and parents to show examples of others who have made permanent connections.
  2. Promote National Foster Care Month by using free outreach materials, and share the resources and tools across your network.
  3. Find state foster care contacts across the nation to work across state and county lines quickly.
  4. Connect parents, youth, foster parents and caregivers, tribes and other members of the community to information specifically designed to support their questions and concerns about the reunification process.
  5. Access resources and tools created for professionals that support best practices for reunifying families and provide examples from other states.

In support of National Foster Care Month, NRCDR created a new webpage with ideas and strategies to help child welfare systems recruit, develop, and support foster parents who are prepared to support reunification when it is the permanency goal for a child in their care.

6 ways to get ready for LGBT Pride Month

As you prepare for LGBT Pride Month, you can use the ideas and resources below to help you get started.

  1. Cover for Strategies for Recruiting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Foster, Adoptive, and Kinship FamiliesDevelop and use a communications plan (addressing both internal and external communications) related to LGBT family recruitment, response, and engagement. Work with agency staff and private partners to send strong, consistent messages about your system's commitment to welcoming and supporting LGBT families. For tips, read Strategies for Recruiting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Foster, Adoptive, and Kinship Families (435 KB PDF).
  2. Cover for It's My Life: Dante's StoryPrepare staff to have conversations with youth about placement with LGBT families. This might include: providing training; using supervision to think through potential questions and practice responses (e.g., role play); strategizing in case conferences; and offering resources. Diligent Recruitment of Families for Children in the Foster Care System, a diligent recruitment project administered by the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, developed It's My Life: Dante's Story Graphic Novel (6.4 MB PDF), a resource that can be shared with youth and used to approach conversations about placement with an LGBT family, and a companion letter (1.3 MB PDF) to help social workers with introducing the booklet.
  3. Develop and support families so that they are able to provide affirming homes for LGBTQ children and youth. Work with resource and birth families and LGBTQ children and youth to achieve permanency. Talk with families—beginning early on and in ongoing discussions—about caring for LGBTQ children; include these discussions in your recruitment efforts, response system messaging, training, discussions about resources and referrals, and in information support you can provide to families.
  4. Make LGBT families visible in your agency and highlight the experiences of LGBT families and youth. For instance, include images of LGBT families on your website and in recruitment materials and highlight LGBT parents, children, and youth in newsletters or stories and videos. If you utilize foster parents or youth as trainers, peer mentors, advisors, or speakers, make sure the voices and experiences of LGBT people are included.
  5. Partner with LGBT-serving organizations and community groups in offering recruitment events, training opportunities, and services for children, youth, and families. Ensure that staff are knowledgeable about LGBT-affirming community resources and services when referring children, youth, and families.
  6. Review the "Benchmarks of LGBTQ Cultural Competency" developed by the Human Rights Campaign's All Children—All Families project and consider ways that your agency can strengthen competency in effective and inclusive work with LGBT children, youth, and families

Tools you can use

Webinar recording posted: First Impressions: the Power of an Effective Response System

This archived NRCDR webinar addresses the importance of planning, developing, implementing, and continuously assessing your system for responding to resource family inquiries as an integral component of your state, tribe, or territory’s approach to diligent recruitment. During this webinar, presenters discussed approaches to response systems and ways in which your response system offers a critical opportunity to address systemic needs and challenges, set resource family expectations, and provide consistent, timely information.

 

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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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