The child focused recruitment model (CFRM) demands aggressive tactical work, smaller caseloads, accountability, and a focus on children for whom permanency efforts in the past have not been successful. The CFRM is evidence-based and an impact evaluation concluded that using the model substantially and significantly increased a child’s likelihood of adoption.
The model contains eight (8) major components, all of which are expected to be employed for each child. CFRM is a circular process where the CFRM specialist will continue to revisit/update documents. The CFRM is comprised of the following:
The CFRM FSOS will ensure that the CFRM specialist is maintaining a caseload of twelve (12) to fifteen (15) children for whom they are actively searching for an appropriate adoptive placement or permanent custody opportunity. Ideally, the caseload number will not exceed twenty (20) children, which includes youth that may not be appropriate for recruitment at a certain period of time, or youth that have been identified as being in a pre-adoptive placement.
The CFRM specialist will maintain an updated and ongoing CFRM case file for each assigned child.
Based on SOP 13.2 Child Freed for Adoption Procedure, if a child(ren) is referred to a CFRM specialist, the CFRM FSOS will review the referral to determine the appropriateness of:
During the first thirty (30) calendar days of assignment, the CFRM specialist will contact the SSW/FSOS of the assigned case to make arrangements to review all files related to the case. The CFRM specialist is permitted to check out case files for one (1) week; however, if more time is needed the CFRM specialist will contact and obtain approval from the SSW/FSOS to make necessary accommodations for an extension.
The CFRM specialist must meet face-to-face with the child at least once monthly, if actively recruiting, in order to:
Develop a meaningful relationship;
Facilitate the assessment of the child’s adoption readiness;
Prepare the child for adoption; and
Develop an appropriate recruitment plan.
Through the case record review and recruitment plan process, the CFRM specialist will begin the diligent search process for an appropriate adoptive placement or permanent custody option. Diligent search is used to identify, locate, and contact as many individuals as possible. This search could include, but is not limited to:
- Biological family;
- Former foster parents;
- Social workers;
- Church members; and
- Any other professionals who have worked with the child.
Through the diligent search process, as connections are made, some individuals may not be an adoptive option; however, may become part of the child’s network. 1
As connections are identified, a collaborative meeting which includes the SSW, FSOS, CFRM specialist, and CFRM supervisor should be held to develop action steps. The action steps may include introduction of the child to the connection, development of a schedule for visitation or contact, and transition planning, if appropriate.
The CFRM specialist will maintain monthly contact with the child’s network as part of the CFRM model. The network is comprised of, but not limited to the following:
- The child’s SSW or FSOS;
- Court-appointed special advocate (CASA);
- Guardian ad litem (GAL);
- Current caregiver;
- School personnel;
- Biological family members; and
- Anyone that has been identified, contacted, and has a connection to the child.
The network’s communication is an essential element in helping the child achieve permanency.2
If concerns arise during the diligent search process regarding the individuals that are identified, located, and are going to be contacted, the CFRM specialist and SSW should seek guidance from CFRM FSOS and FSOS to create an acceptable plan to proceed in attaining permanency for the child.
The SSW and FSOS of the child’s case will discuss all case decisions with the assigned CFRM specialist. Case decisions includes placement, treatment needs, and anything that will support placement efforts.