Denver's Village built a diligent recruitment program to improve the safety, permanency and well-being of children by establishing community-based recruitment teams in geographically assigned communities through its collaborative Family to Family program with the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Denver Indian Family Resource Center.
The recruitment teams combined the knowledge, skills and resources of Family to Family collaborations, resource parents, neighborhood communities and Denver Human Services to increase the number of foster, kinship and adoptive families that reflect the characteristics and needs of children in care. The Denver Indian Family Resource Center recruitment team in particular worked to recruit homes that meet both the needs of Native American children and preferences of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).
To accomplish its goals, Denver’s Village was designed along the following three interrelated tracks:
- Diligent recruitment to build community-based pools of resource families that reflect the racial and ethnic characteristics of children
- Improvement of permanency outcomes through:
- Increased numbers of dually licensed homes that can provide permanency if family reunification fails
- Concurrent planning involving birth and extended family, children and youth initiated early in the process through Team Decision Making meetings
- Improved retention of resource families through staff training and systemic improvements to the quality of the certification process
Community-Based Recruitment Teams
The project conducted a community-based analysis, which served as the foundation for strategic planning to achieve improved permanency outcomes for Native American, African American, and Latino children in foster care. Denver’s Village contracted with a community partner to hire part-time (20 hours per week) community outreach workers to lead Community Based Resource Teams (CBRTs). Community outreach workers included members of the African American, Latino, and Native American communities, bilingual workers, foster care alumni, and foster and adoptive parents. They worked with families, community residents, faith-based and community organizations, and businesses to build partnerships, establish community and agency supports for families, and plan recruitment and retention activities and events. CBRTs were formed from this outreach and relationship-building work, engaging teachers, pastors and spiritual leaders, service providers, volunteers, and agency staff in the teams. Community outreach workers coordinated CBRTs and served as liaisons between the agency and the communities. Through these efforts, Denver’s Village was able to develop stronger community partnerships and a more positive image within diverse communities.
Project Highlights and Products
- Press Coverage: Article in The Denver Post titled "Adoption initiative halves numbers of kids needing families"
- Presentation: Denver’s Village spring 2010 grantees meeting presentation (PDF – 3.2 MB)
- Presentation: Denver's Village 2008 grantee kick-off meeting presentation
- Project Tool: Denver County Customer Service Standards, Guiding Principles, and Behaviors (PDF - 113 KB)
- Grant Report: Diligent Recruitment Grant Final Report (PDF - 8.1 MB)