This month's edition of Foster Care Footnotes  is one that we encourage you to share with your Foster Parent Champions or others who help support your recruitment and retention efforts.

There's a special something about you. So special, in fact, that your foster care agency has chosen you to be a Foster Parent Champion. Hopefully, the task is one that energizes and excites you! The possibilities are endless . . . and maybe a bit overwhelming at times, too. This newsletter includes some tips and suggestions that may be helpful to you in your role.

  1. One of the best kinds of support for Foster Parent Champions are other Foster Parent Champions. We invite you to join our brainstorm session on Thursday, January 30, 2020. We'll be gathering in person, but will also have an online option for those who want to join, but can't make the meeting face to face. Let's talk about your biggest challenges and your biggest rewards, share successful activities that you have done, and brainstorm some new opportunities together.
  2. Churches and faith-based groups can be a great place to recruit new foster parents and support for current foster parents. Marathon County works with churches and Welcomed. At one of their meetings they had 100 church members attend! Rock County works with a church that provides space and child care for training events. When making a presentation to a church or faith-based group, make sure to have some suggestions for others ways those in attendance can help, such as providing respite, providing a meal for foster family at key times, child mentor, toys, diapers, socks and other clothing, etc.
  3. Create a monthly or bi-monthly newsletter that you can fill with updates, shout-outs to other foster parents and/or workers, acknowledgements of successes, anniversaries, and information about up coming training opportunities. The Coalition for Children, Youth & Families is here to help and has many tip sheets that you could include in your newsletter. We also offer Champion Classrooms, where you will find live and recorded webinars, on-demand courses, additional resources, and more. You also might reach out to foster families, current or former youth in care, interns, agency staff members, or birth parents for guest articles to include.
  4. Join the Foster Parent Champions Networking Connections Facebook group. Through this group, you can reach out directly to other Wisconsin Foster Parent Champions for support and ideas.

Looking for a couple of resources that may be helpful? Check out these links: