In 2014, the Annie E. Casey Foundation partnered with the state of Oklahoma to introduce effective strategies — such as Team Decision Making and the “inside-outside” method — to recruit and retain more foster families while shutting down shelters and groups homes across the state.
This case study examines how Oklahoma’s approach to foster care has evolved, how the state plans to sustain these changes and what factors have fueled its success.
Key Finding on Improving Foster Home Recruitment in Oklahoma
A child welfare system hits the reset button — and sees long-term results
Findings & Stats
Plotting a Path Together
Team Decision Making brings together parents, youth, family, community members and others to assess a situation and recommend the best placement options for a child.
Gaining a Clearer View
Created in 2006, the foster home estimator helps agencies build a more robust pool of foster parents by accurately estimating how many additional foster homes are needed for specific populations of children.
Leading the Way
From 2012 to 2017, Oklahoma added more foster homes than any other state in the nation and 3,302 new foster care beds.
Statements & Quotations
The lessons are simple — care for kids at home whenever possible. And make caring for kids a community effort, not the work of one agency. But it’s not an easy task to take on. Oklahoma managed to bring tremendous energy to a high-stress situation and focus on long-term solutions, not temporary fixes.
– Tracey Field, director of Casey's Child Welfare Strategy Group
It isn’t uncommon for new leadership to come in after the fact, decide something doesn’t align with their practices, and undo critical progress made. The inside-outside approach allows us to connect the dots to sustain key changes.
– Rob Geen, Casey’s director of policy reform and advocacy
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