We’ve all done it: set admirable goals, goals we can really get excited about. We’re going to host a retention activity once every two months; we’re going to make connections with three new community partners; we’re going to recruit 15 new foster families!

A few weeks go by, maybe even months. We’ve made some progress, but somewhere along the way we lose steam and our vision blurs. A thousand other things take precedence. When do we finally gather to evaluate, we may be disappointed in ourselves, our team, or our process.

If this sounds like you or your team, it's time for a reboot! Reconvene your team, recheck your data, and re-calibrate your goals. Setting realistic goals means understanding what kinds of homes you most need, as well as where to find those homes. It also means setting the bar at a level that is doable with the resources, staff time, and unique circumstances of your agency.

Goal-setting is also more than just deciding how many and what kinds of homes to recruit. Maybe you work for a large agency and you’re doing recruitment solo. In that case, the simple act of forming a team might be your biggest priority. If so, put it in the plan. Are you in a small, rural agency and are tired of hitting up the same organizations in your community? Maybe your goal should be to seek collaboration with a neighboring county or agency.

Remember, also, to include celebrating in your plan. Celebrating doesn’t need to wait until we’ve licensed a bunch of new homes. When any goal is accomplished, recognize the good work of your team as well as yourself. Use the same principles of “retention” with your team as those you use to honor your foster parents, and soon your team and your plan will be unstoppable.

We hope these ideas are helpful! Please reach out to the Coalition if you are looking for recruitment ideas, support, or resources. 

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