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The route to becoming a foster carer starts with an interaction between a person’s motivation and any opportunity she or he may have to develop this motivation. (Simmonds, 2001). A call to action…. Recruiting foster carers. Wanslea. Belinda Lord Co-ordinator OHC Stephan Lund Manager OHC.

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The route to becoming a foster carer starts with an interaction between a person’s motivation and any opportunity she or he may have to develop this motivation.

(Simmonds, 2001)

a call to action

A call to action…

Recruiting foster carers

  • Belinda Lord

Co-ordinator OHC

  • Stephan Lund

Manager OHC

  • Medium sized community agency
  • Perth, Western Australia
  • Since 1943
  • Program areas:
    • Foster care, leaving care
    • Family enhancement and preservation
    • Child care
    • Community development
research snapshot
Research snapshot
  • Carers are seeking familial relationships with children (Riggs, Delfabbro, Augoustinos, 2009)
  • Community awareness raising is critical (Delfabbro, Borgas, Vast, Osborn, 2008)
  • Recruitment strategies that worked best included:
    • local campaigns;
    • consistently high local profile;
    • using young people; and
    • building relationships with community groups. (Higgins, 2007)
  • Broad-based media strategies are excellent for awareness-raising and creating an initial interest in fostering, but are less successful in the conversion of inquiries into actual carers.
  • One of the best recruitment strategies is the use of current and experienced carers to recruit by word-of-mouth.
  • Recruitment is an extremely time-consuming activity

(Osborn, Panozzo, Richardson, Bromfield, 2007)

where we started from
Where we started from
  • Ad hoc approach to recruitment
  • Methods used prior to this strategy:
    • Community newspaper ads
    • Joint recruitment strategy
    • Word of mouth
what we are doing now
What we are doing now
  • New business plan for recruitment in 2009
  • Recruitment sub-committee formed
  • Looking at innovative, different strategies to increase number of foster carers
  • Establishing interest in Wanslea
  • Engaging stakeholders and the public
other strategies used
Other strategies used
  • Weekly ads in Community Newspapers
  • Bi-monthly information evenings
  • Radio interviews
  • Media releases
  • Stalls at shopping centres
  • Posters at community centres, libraries, medical centres, police
  • Mail out to schools, churches
  • Find a foster family incentive
other strategies used1
Other strategies used
  • Wanslea website
  • Foster care micro site
  • Posters designed and printed for free
  • Foster care ambassadors and patron
  • Magazine stories
  • Letters to politicians (planned)
  • Volunteer marketing expert
  • Digital stories of foster carers (planned)
  • Combination of strategies has worked

Assemble a good recruitment


The agencies which have been most

successful in recruiting foster carers

have employed staff with specific

skills in marketing and advertising.

time for you to share
Time for you to share
  • Any questions?
  • What else?
  • What strategies are you using?
thank you
Thank you

For more information or to stay in touch: