- By Tan McDougal
- Posted Tuesday, October 14, 2014
A New Way of Recruiting Foster Families!
Forsyth County DSS and the Children's Museum joined forces to host a community event aimed at recruiting new foster families for Forsyth County. “Recruitment Under The Stars” was held on Saturday, September 27th at the Children's Museum. The event was an informational session for interested community members to learn about becoming foster parents. Forsyth County DSS foster families were invited to attend the event and to bring along a friend or friends with an interest in foster parenting.
The event drew over twenty (20) participants including prospective foster parents, social workers, foster families and children. Nestled in a fun, relaxed environment, the event was similar to "speed dating," in which participants were required to move around to different tables to learn about foster parenting. Participants spent approximately ten minutes at each table where they talked with social workers and experienced foster parents who answered questions and shared their experiences. Questions were provided to start the conversation at each table; however, interested foster parents were strongly encouraged to ask their own questions.
The event was a first time effort for FCDSS Recruiter, Sharon Porter, who wanted to veer away from the traditional informational sessions held bi-weekly at the agency, and offer something new and different. Recognizing that foster parents are one of our best resources for recruitment, Sharon wanted to tap into that resource and partner with them for this event. It was also important for her to branch out and partner with a community organization with a focus on children. With the help of Tanya McDougal, who works on community initiatives and partnership development for DSS, the Children’s Museum became a perfect venue to host the event.
Those who attended suggested that DSS should continue doing more outreach events like this to draw attention to the need for foster parents. Six of the seven interested families who attended have made commitments to become foster parents, and have enrolled in the next foster parenting class that begins in October. Several DSS staff were on hand to assist with the event and to provide childcare for children attending with their parents. An extra bonus for those children was free admission to the Children’s Museum. That was a treat that allowed parents to relax and enjoy the event knowing their children were being taken care of in a safe and fun environment.
If you know someone interested in, or wants more information about becoming a foster parent, contact Sharon Porter, FCDSS Recruiter at 703-3677 or firstname.lastname@example.org