Recruiting Foster Parents and Strengthening Child Welfare in Oklahoma

A Case Study

By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

August 6, 2019

Summary

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

Then: Oklahoma had a reputation for placing children in overcrowded, understaffed emergency shelters. Its army of child welfare professionals was exhausted — burdened with an overwhelming backlog of caseloads and high turnover rates.

Now: The right strategies and partnerships have helped Oklahoma flip the script and emerge as a leader in foster home recruitment. Along the way, the state closed group homes and renewed trust between its large native population and welfare agencies.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations