WHO IS ACCREDITED?

Private Organization Accreditation

Germaine Lawrence is a residential treatment center for girls ages 12-18 with complex behavioral, psychological and learning challenges.   Girls live at our programs while receiving special education, individual, family and group therapy; psychiatric and primary medical care; and a wide variety of therapeutic activities and interventions.
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ORGANIZATION TESTIMONIAL

Nuevo Amanecer Latino Children's Services

Galo A. Rodriguez, M.P.H., President & CEO

Since Nuevo Amanecer Latino Children’s Services pursued its COA accreditation on October 14, 2004, this corporation has sustained a continuous quality improvement process by not looking whom to blame among the involved parties but improving what we have already done well… because good enough is not good enough.
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Purpose

Child and Family Services promote child and family well-being, protect children’s safety, stablilize and strengthen families, and ensure permanency.

PA-CFS 23: Resource Family Recruitment

Resource family recruitment ensures that a diverse group of individuals and families can be prepared to meet the needs of children and their families.
 

Interpretation: Please note that kinship caregivers who are completing the process of becoming licensed, certified, or approved may already have children in their care, may be identified by their families, or may be identified through other family-finding efforts.

Table of Evidence

Self-Study Evidence On-Site Evidence On-Site Activities
    • A description of child-specific recruitment activities
    • Resource family recruitment plan
    • Recruitment materials
    • List of agency partners in resource family recruitment
    • Resource family orientation curricula and/or materials
    • Documentation of evaluation of recruitment/retention data
    • Website or book with photo listings, if available
    • Documentation of tribal participation in resource parent recruitment, when applicable
    • Interview:
      1. Agency leadership
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Resource parents
    • Review resource parent records

  • PA-CFS 23.01

    In an effort to ensure that suitable resource families are available for the children entering care, the agency establishes and implements an annual plan for recruitment that includes:

    1. tracking and aggregating characteristics of both children in care and available resource families;
    2. developing organized strategies and strategic partnerships to identify and reach out to a diverse range of individuals and families who can care for children, including specific populations of children with special placement needs; and
    3. considering all qualified individuals and families that can provide loving homes for children in care.

    Interpretation: While general recruitment will disperse the recruitment message as widely as possible, the agency should also conduct targeted recruitment designed to find people most likely to become resource parents for the children in care. Effective recruitment efforts will utilize language, images, and delivery strategies, including creative partnerships, designed to reach out and appeal to targeted audiences who may be willing and able to foster or adopt children in need of homes. Children with special placement needs can include, but are not limited to: sibling groups; older children; children with physical, emotional, behavioral, and developmental issues; children of minority racial or ethnic groups; LGBTQI children; and youth who are pregnant or parenting. The plan should also include attention to recruiting resource families who live in the same geographic areas as the children in need of homes.

    Note: Generally, when board members, employees, or consultants of the agency express interest in becoming resource parents, the agency should refer them to another provider. If the agency allows board members, employees, or consultants to provide resource family care, the agency must have a policy and procedures that address the circumstances under which this practice is allowed, conflicts of interest, confidentiality of client and resource parent information, evaluation of the home, and any other risks that have been identified by the agency.

    Research Note: Although the Multi-Ethnic Placement Act (MEPA) prohibits the delay or denial of any foster care or adoptive placement based on race, color, or national origin, it also requires state child welfare systems to provide for the diligent recruitment of prospective foster and adoptive families who reflect the ethnic and racial diversity of children in need of homes. As one component of a diligent recruitment plan, culturally-sensitive recruitment has become more prevalent with the recognition that children and families can benefit when children live with resource families who may be from the same community and/or have the same racial, ethnic, or cultural background. Some strategies that have been used to increase recruitment in communities of color include: (1) translating materials into relevant languages; (2) co-training with resource families of color; (3) conducting joint community outreach efforts; (4) engaging prospective resource families jointly with current resource parents; and (5) building relationships to facilitate recruitment efforts with faith, civic, and ethnic agencies in the community. However, it is also important to note that MEPA prohibits the denial of potential resource families not identified in a state’s diligent recruitment plan.


  • PA-CFS 23.02

    The agency strives to find homes for specific children by conducting child-specific recruitment activities that include:

    1. identifying family members, former caregivers, and other adults with a connection to the children who might consider serving as resource parents for the children; and
    2. using media or other creative and customized outreach strategies to identify and explore additional options based on children’s strengths, needs, interests, and background.

    Interpretation: Some aspects of child-specific recruitment will be an extension of the efforts to find and engage family and significant others undertaken during assessment, service planning, and permanency planning. Other aspects of child-specific recruitment will be launched anew -- for example, if a child loves animals the recruiter might reach out to local veterinarians, zoos, or animal shelters.
     
    Interpretation:
    Agencies that use online photo listing services for children awaiting adoption should ensure that appropriate mechanisms are in place to protect confidential information and respect an individual’s right to refuse to have their photo taken for cultural reasons.


  • PA-CFS 23.03

    Recruitment involves key stakeholders including: 

    1. family foster care alumni; 
    2. current resource parents, including foster and adoptive parents and kinship caregivers, when possible; 
    3. community leaders; 
    4. tribal representatives or local American Indian/Alaska Native organization representatives; and 
    5. other organizations, agencies, institutions, and businesses in the community.

    Update:

    • Revised Interpretation - 10/31/17
      Additional guidance for integrating tribes into recruitment efforts for American Indian and Alaska Native resource families was added. 

    Interpretation: The agency should attempt to partner with community leaders and organizations that can help it to target its recruitment efforts in creative ways based on the characteristics of children in care, as addressed in PA-CFS 23.01 and 23.02. For example, if it has proven difficult to find homes for teenagers, the agency might look for prospective resource parents among high school parents and coaches, and after school programs for teens.  Similarly, if the agency wishes to recruit resource parents from particular ethnic or racial groups it might seek to engage specific cultural organizations, churches, or minority-owned businesses. Agencies that have responsibility for placing American Indian or Alaska Native children should work closely with tribes and local Indian organizations to establish eligibility criteria for resource families that are consistent with the norms of the tribe and identify resource families within the tribal community through joint recruitment efforts.


  • PA-CFS 23.04

    Prospective resource families are provided with general information about:

    1. the certification process and requirements, including the resource family assessment experience, the recruitment-to-placement timeline, and available supports and services;
    2. eligibility requirements, including clarification regarding the diversity of individuals welcomed to serve as resource parents;
    3. any applicable fees and reimbursements;
    4. the roles, responsibilities, and needed competencies of resource parents;
    5. what resource families should expect when they take in a child;
    6. the characteristics of children in care (e.g., ages, races, genders, special needs, and sibling group sizes); and
    7. next steps in the process.

    Interpretation: Resource family recruitment and orientation should be designed to help prospective resource families determine if providing resource family care will be a positive experience for their family and for children that could enter their care.  See PA-CFS 24 for more information regarding the mutual assessment process designed to help prospective resource families make informed decisions about fostering and adopting.


  • PA-CFS 23.05

    Prospective resource families are engaged in the recruitment process through:

    1. a welcoming and supportive approach that encourages prospective families to move forward with the process;
    2. open houses, orientations, and training sessions that are accessible and inviting to all prospective resource families;
    3. personalized contact with current resource families; and
    4. equitable, timely, sensitive, and culturally-responsive support and follow-up at each step of the process.

    Interpretation: As noted in PA-CFS 23.04, resource family recruitment and orientation should be designed to help prospective resource families determine if providing resource family care will be a positive experience for their family and for children that could enter their care. See PA-CFS 24 for more information regarding the mutual assessment process designed to help prospective resource families make informed decisions about fostering and adopting.


  • PA-CFS 23.06

    The agency annually evaluates recruitment and retention data to determine what strategies and practices work well, and what strategies and practices may need to be modified or eliminated.

    Interpretation: The evaluation should include an examination of efforts to recruit resource families who reflect the ethnic and racial diversity of children in care; the cost-effectiveness of recruitment activities; the utilization of new resource families; and resource families’ length of stay with the agency.  Given that the support provided to resource parents will influence whether or not they remain with the agency over time, the evaluation of recruitment and retention data should inform practices related to both initial recruitment and the ongoing support provided to resource families.

    Note: See also PA-CFS 26.09 regarding the gathering of retention-related data through exit interviews with resource parents who leave the agency.

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