Recruitment and Retention of Relative, Kin and Resource Caregivers
Entering and remaining in foster care is traumatic for children and can mean a series of ongoing losses – from their parents, grandparents and other relatives, friends, neighbors, resource parents and other people who have loved and cared for them. This trauma must be understood and addressed for children to have a sense of belonging and be open to connection. One way to reduce the impact of this trauma is to find and engage safe and stable relative and kin caregivers or resource parents able to help preserve children’s relationships. Child welfare agencies around the country, however, often struggle with recruiting and retaining relative and kin caregivers who have the knowledge and ability to meet the specific needs of children in foster care. Many agencies are looking for strategies to do proactive, diligent searches; enhance engagement; expedite licensing, and provide ongoing caregiver support and education to ensure that more and more children are placed with relatives and people with a previous connection to the child.