Pretty black mother and teen daughter eating cookies

I. Introduction

Foster care programs provide temporary homes for children unable to live with their biological parents for various reasons, including neglect, abuse, or parental incompetence. Over 400,000 children in the U.S. are estimated to be in foster care, underscoring the urgent need for foster parents.

II. State of Foster Care in Kansas

Kansas, much like the rest of the country, faces a stark shortage of foster families, despite having approximately 7,500 children in the foster care system. To bridge this gap, Kansas child welfare agencies have stepped up recruitment efforts, including conducting informational sessions, awareness campaigns, and providing support and training for potential foster parents. However, challenges such as lack of support and emotional strain continue to hinder foster parent retention.

III. Case Study: Foster Kids Need You Campaign

The campaign aimed to raise awareness and garner 12 applications for foster parents through a six-week multi-channel marketing campaign. This included television ads, an email campaign, digital ads on Google and Facebook, and a dedicated landing page with inquiry and application forms, followed by a five-part email nurture series for those who inquired.

IV. Campaign Analysis

The campaign’s multi-channel approach ensured a broader reach. Television ads targeted an older demographic, while digital ads on Google and Facebook appealed to a younger, tech-savvy audience. The Foster Kids Need You landing page served as a hub for interested individuals to get more information or submit their interest or application. An email nurturing series kept regular contact with interested parties, providing them with valuable content, addressing their concerns, and leading them toward conversion. The campaign resulted in 99 foster parent inquiries, leading to 22 applications, at a cost of $239.30 per lead. The campaign also garnered over 3 million impressions, over 221,000 opens/clicks, and 7,414 landing page visits.

V. Lessons Learned

While the campaign exceeded the application target by 83%, it became evident that not all foster parent applicants complete the training or licensing process. Therefore, the initial number of applicants needs to be larger to increase the number of licensed homes.

VI. Conclusion

The recruitment of foster parents is a critical need. A multi-channel campaign approach effectively caters to the diverse prospective foster parents by reaching a wider audience across different media consumption habits and demographic differences. By tracking the performance of different channels and messages, the campaign can refine its strategies, thereby maximizing recruitment impact. Thus, multi-channel campaigns are not just strategically advantageous but a necessity in the quest for more foster homes for children.


The statistical information was found from authoritative sources such as the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and the Kansas Department for Children and Families are integral for a comprehensive understanding of the state’s foster care situation.