Recruitment is a Community Effort
Are there specific recruitment strategies that have been most effective in Michigan?
TL:DR – YOU!
This is a bit of a hard one, since each part of the state functions a little differently, and thus will have more/less effective strategies depending on location.
Broadly speaking, however, we’ve noticed that the most effective method of recruitment is engaging current/former foster parents and utilizing word-of-mouth. Every time you share why you became a foster parent, you are part of the recruitment team! We see that when agencies are active in engaging existing families in recruitment, support networks are improved for new families and more families come in the door. Foster Care can seem daunting to many from the licensing process to placement, so having real, local people who have been or are in the same stages as you to ask questions to, share frustrations with, and learn from is very encouraging for our Michigan families.
The success of this strategy is, in fact, part of what brought the Foster Care Navigator Program to life! Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services saw that easy, instant access to community and support was so important and beneficial for existing families, and recruiting new families, that we were created!