340:75-7-10. Resource family recruitment and retention
(a) Resource family recruitment.Resource family recruitment is a crucial component to provide a safe home environment for a child in Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) custody requiring out-of-home placement due to child abuse, neglect, or other circumstances.Diligent and targeted recruitment provides the child access to a resource family, who:
(1) can meet the child's unique needs;
(2) allows the child to stay with siblings;
(3) reflects and understands the racial and ethnic diversity of the child in care; and
(4) lives in close proximity to the child's family.
(b) Resource family recruitment and retention plan. • 1DHS, in conjunction with resource family partners, impacts the availability and diversity of resource families by implementing recruitment and retention activities defined by each district based on the characteristics and needs of children in DHS custody.Per Section 1-9-114 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes, DHS:
(1) makes diligent efforts to identify, locate, and engage suitable relatives and kin for the child in DHS custody;
(2) makes diligent efforts to recruit resource families that reflect the child's ethnic and racial diversity;
(3) provides individuals the opportunity to become resource parents regardless of race, color, or national origin; or
(4) does not delay or deny the child's placement based on the race, color, or national origin of the resource or child; and
(5) uses diligent and targeted efforts to recruit resource families that include, but are not limited to:
(A) partnering with tribes;
(B) partnering with community and religious organizations;
(C) conducting outreach activities; and
(D) utilizing media and local resources.
INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:75-7-10
1.Resource family recruitment and retention plan.The Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) in conjunction with resource family partners (RFP) annually develops, implements, monitors, and refines a statewide resource family recruitment and retention plan to increase the availability and diversity of resource families and retain resource families to serve the child in DHS custody.The statewide resource family recruitment and retention plan includes targeted and child-specific plans.
(1) The statewide resource family recruitment and retention plan is the responsibility of resource specialists, developed with input from key community stakeholders including:
(A) resource families;
(B) current and former foster children;
(C) tribal partners;
(D) service providers;
(E) schools; and
(F) child protective services, permanency planning, and resource staff.
(2) District-targeted recruitment and retention plans:
(A) are based on an assessment and prioritization of need.Data and knowledge of the needs of children in DHS custody are used to develop each district-specific profile.The needs assessment includes, the:
(i) proximity of the children's families to available resource families;
(ii) racial and ethnic diversity of resource families;
(iii) availability of tribal resource families to serve Indian children subject to the Indian Child Welfare Act; and
(iv) ability of available resource families to provide care for large sibling groups, older children, and children with special needs;
(B) objectives and strategies to recruit and retain resource families by:
(i) developing strategies for at least two specific recruitment activities and one retention activity per year; and
(ii) incorporating steps with time requirements to accomplish the strategies;
(C) may include interaction with the local media.All materials used in the media activity are approved prior to use by the Resource Unit and the DHS Office of Communications;
(D) are implemented under the direction of the field manager and district director;
(E) are monitored monthly by the field manager and district director.Implementation status and results are reported in a quarterly-prescribed format to the Foster Care and Adoptions deputy director and regional deputy directors; and
(F) are modified when objectives are achieved or different strategies are identified.