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Foster Care Publication | Building Successful Resource Families: A Guide for Public Agencies

Denise Goodman, Ph.D., and Frank Steinfield


Analysis of foster care statistics and child welfare laws led the Annie E. Casey Foundation to work with a range of city and state human service departments for over two decades promoting child welfare reform. While each jurisdiction presented unique challenges, finding and keeping high-quality adoptive, kinship and foster families, known as resource families, has been a common struggle. These challenges include short supply of adoptive, kinship and foster families, lack of appropriate support and training, and the need for a systematic approach to building capacity in this important child welfare area. The goal of this resource guide is to leverage our experience with different jurisdictions by sharing information and encouraging the use of child welfare best practices in working with adoptive, kinship and foster care families.Link to download this report at bottom of page.

The following additional foster care, child welfare, adoptive, and kinship care resources are available as PDFs:

Appendix 1: Interview guide
Appendix 2: Successful intake summary
Appendix 3: Secret shopper call template
Appendix 4: Interview guide for resource parents
Appendix 5. Intake talking points
Appendix 6. Sample intake form
Appendix 7. Sample follow-up communications
Appendix 8. Sample monthly call tracking form
Appendix 9. Prospective parent tracking form
Appendix 10. Comprehensive home study template
Appendix 11. Accelerating certification
Appendix 12. Sample summary tracking document
Appendix 13. Developing a comprehensive recruitment plan
Appendix 14. Recommended reading about recruitment
Appendix 15. Sample recruitment reports
Appendix 16. Creative outreach exercise
Appendix 17. Sample recruiter job description
Appendix 18. General recruitment ideas
Appendix 19. Targeted recruitment techniques
Appendix 20. Case file review tool
Appendix 21. Ideas about child-specific recruitment
Appendix 22. Information about photo listings
Appendix 23. Sample utilization study
Appendix 24. Creative respite ideas
Appendix 25. Sample support visit form
Appendix 26. Sample resource family satisfaction survey
Appendix 27. Sample resource parent exit survey
Appendix 28. Partial summary of best practices
Appendices 1-28: Complete set of resources

Role Cards (provided with permission from the Connecticut Department of Children and Families)