Resource Families Can Help with Recruitment, Retention

Child welfare professionals have long known that resource parents can be powerful allies when it comes to finding new foster parents. Indeed, when they are creatively involved in an agency’s efforts, current foster parents and kin caregivers may be the single best recruitment tool there is.

Given present trends in foster care, the time has come for us to truly put this knowledge into practice. As the figure below shows, in North Carolina the number of children in foster care is rising steadily. Many other states are seeing this growth, which is due to a variety of factors, including the opioid epidemic.

Figure: North Carolina: Number of Foster Homes and Number of Children in DSS Custody 2010-2017This trend is expected to continue, at least in 2018. At the same time, as the figure also shows, there are fewer foster homes in our state today than there were in 2010.

This issue of Fostering Perspectives discusses these trends, explores what North Carolina and its agencies are doing to improve this situation, and suggests ways you can help.

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