The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC) received a Synergy Initiative Planning Grant of $232,920 to develop a model of foster parent supports to improve recruitment and retention. Foster parents are the underpinnings of a quality foster care system and when they are properly trained and supported they can provide positive outcomes for the children in their care.

This project will work in the two Worcester area Department of Children and Families (DCF) offices with the goal of creating a system for foster parents that can be expanded to the rest of the state.

In the planning year, this project would conduct an environmental scan of existing resources for foster families in Worcester and Central Massachusetts, learn from existing models in Massachusetts and across the country, and convene stakeholders to prioritize issues such as recruitment and retention of foster parents, supporting kinship families, improving placement stability, increasing access to behavioral health services, providing trauma-informed training, and proposing strategies to reform the foster care system.