Mosaic Foster Parent Hub Projects
Data Driven Foster Parent Recruitment & Retention
Creating Positive Foster Care Environments For Children
Foster Together Indiana is a program that I developed at the conclusion of my Foster America Fellowship at the Indiana Department of Child Services.
As a former foster youth, I created Foster Together Indiana to expand support for foster families by creating a network of Care Communities, training and supporting LCPAs to use digital marketing tools for equitable recruitment and retention, and facilitating public/private partnerships to support local foster care community needs. Working closely with DCS, the Anthem Foundation, faith-based communities, Hands of Hope, the IARCA Institute, and Licensed Child Placement Agencies (LCPAs), Foster Together launched a pilot project in Lake County to enhance local foster family support, recruitment, and retention.
The core of Foster Together’s efforts is to recruit and retain the best possible foster homes throughout Indiana. While this goal is important at any time, it is particularly important as Indiana officially implements the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) at the end of September 2020. As part of FFPSA, some youth who may have been living in a residential facility will instead be living with a foster family. In order to meet the needs of these youth, Indiana foster care agencies will need to be able to work with the best possible families. Foster Together’s pilot project will help agencies identify these families, educate them about foster care, and then gather the data needed to support effective, long-term retention efforts.
Mosaic Foster Parents Cafe
Mosaic Foster Parents Cafe
The Mosaic Foster Parents café is a digital coffee house where foster parents come to connect, learn and grow. A recharging station of sorts where they go to become more encouraged to continue to serve on the frontlines of the child welfare system. I created and host this podcast because I spent 8 years of my life navigating the foster care system as a child and that experience inspired me to become a change maker for vulnerable children and an advocate for foster parents.
Through this podcast I hope to inspire the next generation of foster parents and foster children to be great. In fact our mission here at Mosaic is to inspire and nurture the spirit of serving children and families one foster parent, one episode, and one community at a time.
At the Mosaic Foster Parents Cafe we know that one caring adult can change the life experience of a vulnerable child, that’s why foster parents are one of the most critical components of the foster care system. Foster parents open their homes and hearts and provide hope and love to children who need it the most. They are the guides that every superhero needs to be great. Which is precisely the reason why foster parents need better support and more exceptional resources. In many ways foster parents have been made to feel like extras in a movie when in reality they are the co-stars. At the Mosaic Cafe we honor, support and nurture foster parents so that they can continue to serve vulnerable children.
Mosaic Foster Parent Hub
Digital Community For Foster Parents
There are 443,000 children in the foster care system in need of safe and loving family settings but every year half of all foster parents quit caring for vulnerable children due to a lack of support and resources, according to the Brookings Institution. Restricted access to critical information about their foster child, community resources, and basic assistance during emergencies are just a few of the challenges that many foster parents are often forced to face alone. Furthermore, many state agencies prioritize privacy policies over support services, creating the perception among foster parents that they must suffer the burden of fostering alone.
Mosaic Foster Parent Hub, a digital community will transform the experience of fostering by creating a community for foster parents to connect, learn and grow together in real time. One of the greatest barriers to the recruitment of new foster parents is the fact that so many foster parents who answer the call to serve vulnerable children are disappointed by the experience. This is particularly true with regard to African American and minority foster parents who come into the role of foster parenting understanding the implicit bias that is already working against them.
Providing foster parents with a digital community to collaborate and learn with each other will transform not only their experience of fostering but also the quality of connection that vulnerable children experience in foster care.