While foster home recruitment activities might be challenging during the time of the corona virus, this is also an opportunity to be innovative. Here are some ideas you might consider for your recruitment efforts:
Gather data on how many kids continue to come into care since the beginning of 2020 (COVID period) and utilize that in your recruitment message about need.
Consider holding virtual information sessions.
Now that staff are becoming more comfortable with being online and in front of a camera, you could record a quick recruitment video or audio piece with the staff from child welfare and licensing, as well as foster parents. Or even do a live event on an appropriate platform. This will add a personal touch to your recruitment efforts.
While you may not be able to complete a license during COVID, you can encourage waiting families by sharing resources such as the Coalition’s tip sheet What to Do While You Wait, or by having other foster parents connect with the waiting families.
You could contact your local radio station and discuss that May is Foster Care Month and your agency is in need of additional foster parents.
Recruit virtually, using the same content you normally use, but shared in a meeting, event, conference, or other venue that has gone online. For example, many churches are having live streaming services. You might request that your recruitment message be shared during a service, and also posted to the group’s website.
Encourage and reward Foster Parent Champions (FPCs) or any of your foster families for recruiting on their personal social media sites. They could combine agency messaging with their family’s story. As we all know, foster parents are the best recruiters of prospective foster parents.
FPCs could host a “Fosterware party” via Zoom, Jitsi, or another online group platform. (For more information on fosterware parties, contact the Coalition!)
We’d love to hear from you about how you’re doing recruitment during COVID. Give us a call at 414-475-1246 or 800-762-8063 or drop us an email. In the meantime, here are some additional resources that you might find helpful: