Resources on Individualized and Targeted Recruitment for Adoption

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In a new synthesis of recruitment efforts for adoptive families, Individualized and Targeted Recruitment for Adoption, Casey Family Programs profiles a number of promising approaches across the country. Efforts include child-specific recruitment, which may use the media to describe a specific child or may target individuals who already know the child, and targeted recruitment, which focuses on a specific group of children and attempts to match them with families that meet their needs.

Child-specific recruitment campaigns discussed include photolisting books, Internet listings (e.g.,, print (newspaper) campaigns, and televised appeals. One successful child-specific recruitment campaign, by Children's Services of Roxbury in Massachusetts, uses a process of "permanency mediation" to find homes for children. Of 24 teenagers involved in the year-long project, connections to caring adults were identified for 75 percent of teens; 25 percent of the children were adopted.

Successful targeted recruitment efforts focus on children and youth who are likely to wait longest to find permanent homes, identify families likely to adopt them, and craft and deliver messages to these families. The One Church, One Child campaign, begun in Chicago in 1980, now operates in at least 30 States. The program has found adoptive families for more than 60,000 African-American and biracial children by using churches to reach out to prospective parents.

A pdf version of the synthesis can be downloaded from the Casey Family Programs Web site at

Additional resources on recruitment:

* Casey Family Programs National Center for Resource Family Support. Breakthrough Series Collaborative on Recruiting and Retaining Resource Families.
* Annie E. Casey Foundation. Recruitment, Training and Support: The Essential Tools of Foster Care.
* Child Welfare League of America. A Community Outreach Handbook for Recruiting Foster Parents and Volunteers.

Children's Bureau Express Volume 4, Number 5
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