Program Areas | Children & Family Services

EMBRACE, Foster Family Foundation of Georgia: Support for Statewide Effort to Recruit and Retain Foster Families

EMBRACE is a project of the Foster Family Foundation of Georgia, a nonprofit organization focused on increasing the number of available foster families, retaining successful foster homes, and standardizing the quality of foster care in Georgia.   Metis Associates was engaged in 2006 to manage EMBRACE's implementation and planning process, including conducting needs assessments in the project's targeted communities.  Metis and EMBRACE soon identified a number of critical needs: greater support for communication between foster families and foster-care agencies; experienced mentoring of new foster families by more experienced ones; and a network of helpers in the community to help foster parents in distress. EMBRACE has gone on to make substantial progress toward those goals in a short time.

Metis has played an integral role in EMBRACE, identifying consultants in the targeted areas to serve as liaisons between foster parents and agencies and creating networks of helpers in the community who can help foster parents in distress. It has also adapted a curriculum to train foster-parent mentors who have been recruited to serve in this role.  During 2008, the first full year of the project, the retention rate of foster families in the area under study reached 80.5 percent, exceeding the goal, and the targeted communities saw a net increase of 34 foster homes. There was also notable progress in increasing awareness of EMBRACE through closer collaborations with county-level children's and family services agencies in the targeted areas.