Monroe County Foster Parent Recruitment

Client: Monroe County Dept. of Human Services
Foster Parent Recruitment

Monroe County Department of Human Services came to Metrix in 2002 with a troubling problem. For the last several years, the department had closed more foster homes each year than it had opened. The costs of out-of-county placement for foster kids was going through the roof, and soon, there would not be enough foster homes to support the program. At Metrix, we took an analytical approach. What motivates people to become foster parents, and why do so many seemingly good prospects simply drop out of sight? Metrix conducted a series of focus groups for the county with families who had become foster parents, and with families who had considered it, but decided not to become foster parents. What we learned in those focus groups has informed a decade of stability and even growth in the foster parent population. Over the last nine years, we have done numerous rounds of new advertising, have developed an in-house foster care expertise that has allowed us to conduct more than 300 foster care information sessions to small groups of interested people and have moved foster care recruitment onto the internet with their new site: In addition, direct mail has been central to the strategy for many years.

But just because we have been doing that work for a decade, doesn’t mean that we’ve gotten stale. In the fall of 2010, we launched a whole new creative campaign that includes new television and print advertising. And 2010 applications from prospective foster parents increased a record amount over 2009 – 28.26 percent.