Recruitment & Retention with Limited Resources

When it comes to building and sustaining a recruitment and retention plan, counties and agencies often feel limited by the resources that are available to them. Primarily, professionals are limited by the amount of time and money they have available. Regardless of your budget or the amount of time you can devote to recruitment and retention, you can begin to build a more sustainable recruitment and retention plan.

In this first issue of Foster Care Footnotes , our new monthly resource newsletter for Foster Care Coordinators and other child welfare professionals, you will find a Featured Resource that may inspire your efforts to build a recruitment and retention plan with limited resources. We are also sharing an idea that has had success in Rock County, WI.  

We hope this information is useful for you! We also want to remind you that we are here to help and support you. Please don't hesitate to reach out to the Resource Specialists at the Coalition anytime: 414-475-1246, 800-762-8063, info@coalitionforcyf.org
Featured Resource: Recruit for Free, by Dr. Denise Goodman
Denise Goodman is considered by many to be the guru of foster care recruitment. In this short and informative guide, Dr. Goodman explains how to find opportunities for free recruitment in your  community.

"With the current budget crisis in many jurisdictions, money for foster/adoptive parent recruitment is often cut back or eliminated. Unfortunately, the need for families does not diminish with the bottom line, rather, the need for families often increases as the stress and strain of financial worries impacts the community. What can agencies do in these tough times to continue to maintain or expand their pool of resource families? What follows are some suggestions for recruiters to continue to do their job with little or no financial support."

Ideas from Across Wisconsin: 
Rock County Uses Annual 5K to Raise Money for Foster Families

Like many other counties, Rock County was faced with budget cuts that hampered their ability to support foster parents and have retention activities. So, in 2010, the Foster Care Coordinator, Jenni, and her colleagues decided to organize a 5K run to raise funds for their foster families. They called their event "Fast Feet for Families" and had their first race in 2011.

During the first year, the event was small and they raised only $600. However, over the next few years, the event grew to incorporate other fund raising activities including a raffle for baskets of donated items. They also partnered with local businesses who donated things like t-shirts, prizes, water, and snacks. The event now attracts more than 150 runners and, over the past few years, they have raised $6,000 each race. To date, Fast Feet for Families has raised nearly $19,000 for foster families in Rock County. The event also has the benefit of making the foster care program more visible in the community, and raises awareness about the need for foster homes.

The county uses the money from Fast Feet for Families to support foster families. They especially like to recognize foster parents that go above and beyond with gift cards and other treats. The agency also uses the money for holiday parties and an annual fall festival for their families.

According to Jenni, organizing an event such as this does take some work; but she also says that it's doable with the support of the rest of the agency. Staff from across the county come together to plan the event, sell raffle tickets, and get items donated.
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Coalition for Children, Youth & Families | 414-475-1246 | info@coalitionforcyf.org | coalitionforcyf.org
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