Taking Action
A blueprint for targeted recruitment and retention of foster, adoptive, and kinship parents

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You are on this page: Taking Action

This is a how-to guide for foster care programs that want to put targeted, diligent recruitment into action. It is based on the research and real-life experiences of local Social Services Districts in New York State that are participating in the Innovations in Family Recruitment Project (IFR). Come back often as you engage in your recruitment and retention work.

Why is this work important?

Even the most robust foster care programs can face challenges in recruiting and retaining foster and adoptive families.

Your Recruitment and Retention Team

Local Social Services districts and voluntary agencies are encouraged to set up teams to plan and implement revitalized recruitment programs in their jurisdictions. While an outside facilitator is helpful to this process, such a person is not necessary as long as agency staff with the needed skills are available.

The Ongoing Process

It's an ongoing process

The process of putting diligent recruitment to work involves five key phases that are continuously reviewed, revised, and renewed. In the real world, the process is often not as neat and clear cut as it appears here. Adapt this guide to your own real world, and expect success!

The Five Phases


This project is funded by the Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, under a Cooperative Agreement, Grant Number 90CO-1109. The contents of this publication are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or the New York State Office of Children and Family Services.

Children's Bureau
NYS Office of Children and Family Services
Welfare Research, Inc.