More than 50 youth, foster parents, service providers and community leaders attended the recent Empowered Foster Families Community Celebration at the Kroc Center. The CCS Forever Home Youth Council gave a special presentation that celebrated the Marion County Strategic Plan for Foster Parent Recruitment and Retention. This plan addresses several of the root causes of the current crisis in the foster care system.
A key component of the Marion County plan is the Enhanced Support for Foster Parents (ESFP) project. Foster parents are leaving the system at a time when they are needed most. ESFP will ensure that foster families receive the added supports and resources they need to create and maintain safe and nurturing environments for foster children. “We believe that enhancing support for foster families will increase their ability to support breakthrough outcomes for foster children who might not otherwise thrive while in foster care,” said CCS Deputy Director Josh Graves.
The ESFP model was proposed by CCS’s Forever Home Youth Council and refined with input from Marion County Children and Families Commission Family Preservation Action Team. It was then incorporated as a key component of their Strategic Plan for Foster Parent Recruitment and Retention. The ESFP model synthesizes elements of successful programs from other communities and CCS’s own Theory of Change.