This highly successful innovative program takes on the challenge of finding multiple extended family members and kin relationships for older youth in foster care who are most at risk of aging out without an adoptive resource.
Utilizing the skills of an experienced detective and recruiter team, this highly successful innovative program created by our sister organization, the Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition of St. Louis, takes on the challenge of finding multiple extended family members and kin relationships for older youth in foster care who are most at risk of aging out without an adoptive resource.
In 2011, FosterAdopt Connect implemented a new, innovative program called Extreme Recruitment. The model is built upon intensive concurrent planning executed by a detective-recruiter team. The program uses traditional recruitment strategies supplemented by case file mining to research and locate all known and unknown relatives, making personal contact with all appropriate family members. This multi-faceted approach significantly increases the resource options available for a child’s permanent placement, especially for those children labeled as hard to place or un-adoptable. In its pilot year, the FosterAdopt Connect ER team experienced immediate success with all of its initial cases, including finding permanency options for youth that had previously been in residential treatment for years.
An Extreme Recruitment Success Story
The Extreme Recruitment program received a referral for ten-year-old Demaje who had been in care for three years after his mother abandoned him at an area residential facility. This young man had only spent one week in a regular foster home before returning to residential care because of his tantrums and physical aggression. Initially, the whereabouts of his mother were unknown and little was known about any existing relatives. Through intensive case file review and investigative efforts, his family tree was expanded to include twelve known relatives. Our licensed private investigator found and made contact with Demaje's uncle who resides in California.
We learned from Demaje's uncle that he had been actively involved in his nephew’s life until Demaje's mother moved them out-of-state when he was five years old. After making contact, the uncle cried while speaking with our investigator. He stated he had been searching for Demaje for years and believed he would never see him again. If Extreme Recruitment had not intervened, the existence of Demaje's uncle would have gone unknown and reunification with a family who desperately loves Demaje would not be possible. This young man now has a chance at success instead of the potential of aging out of the system without a family connection. Demaje's adoption was final in the spring of 2013.
Learn more about Demaje and his Extreme Recruitment story.
Extreme Recruitment continues to experience amazing success in finding families for kids who were previously thought to be un-adoptable. In two years, with the support of community foundations and individual donors, FosterAdopt Connect has served 62 youth in foster care in the Kansas City area and beyond. We believe this model has the potential to truly change the trajectory of children's lives by connecting them with the most important resource of all, a loving and committed forever family.