Standards for Canadian organizations

2020 Edition

Family Foster Care and Kinship Care (CA-FKC) 17: Resource Family Recruitment

Resource family recruitment ensures that a diverse group of resource families can be prepared to meet the needs of children and their families.
NA The organization has no role in resource family recruitment or assessment.
2020 Edition




Children in Family Foster Care and Kinship Care live in safe, stable, nurturing, and often temporary family settings that best provide the continuity of care to preserve relationships, promote well-being, and ensure permanency.
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Resource family recruitment plan
  • Aggregate report of recruitment/retention data for the past 12 months
  • Recruitment materials
  • Resource family orientation curricula and/or materials
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Resource parents
  • Review resource parent records

CA-FKC 17.01

In an effort to ensure that suitable resource families are available, the organization:
  1. collects and analyzes data on the children in care and the resource families caring for children to determine needs, existing resources, and characteristics of successful resource families;
  2. establishes an annual recruitment plan based on its analysis;
  3. includes provisions for general and targeted recruitment strategies in the plan; and
  4. evaluates the success of the plan annually.
NA The organization provides Kinship Care Services only.
Examples: A recruitment plan can specify how carefully crafted language, images, and strategies, including partnerships with key stakeholders, can help the organization reach out and appeal to audiences who may be willing and able to foster or adopt children in need of homes, including children with special placement needs (e.g., sibling groups; older children; children with physical, emotional, behavioural, and developmental issues; children of minority racial or ethnic groups; LGBTQ children; and youth who are pregnant or parenting.) For example, if it has proven difficult to find homes for teenagers, the organization might look for prospective resource parents among high school parents and coaches, and after school programs for teens.  Similarly, if the organization wishes to recruit resource parents from particular ethnic or racial groups it might seek to engage specific cultural organizations, churches, or minority-owned businesses. Other key stakeholders can include:
  1. family foster care alumni; 
  2. current resource parents; 
  3. community leaders; and 
  4. other organizations, agencies, institutions, and businesses in the community.
Organizations may also employ intensive child-specific recruitment strategies that include identifying all adults with a connection to the child to consider serving as resource parents or identify other potential resource parents, and involving the child to identify preferences and potential resource parents. 

CA-FKC 17.02

To help prospective resource families determine if providing care would be a positive experience for both their family and the children that could enter their care, the organization provides general information about:
  1. the certification process and requirements, including the resource family assessment experience and timeline;
  2. available supports and services;
  3. eligibility requirements;
  4. any applicable fees and reimbursements;
  5. the roles, responsibilities, and needed competencies of resource parents;
  6. what resource families should expect when they take in a child;
  7. common needs and characteristics of children in care; and
  8. next steps in the process.

CA-FKC 17.03

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. equitable, timely, sensitive, and culturally-responsive follow-up at each step of the process;
  3. personalized contact with existing resource families; and
  4. open houses, orientations, and training sessions that are accessible and inviting to all prospective resource families.