||Retention: Fostering for the Rewards
Foster parents as recruiters: it is true, one nurtured family will spread the wealth.
A simple but efective strategy for rewarding foster parents is the Thanks for Being You gift bag. I take a zip lock sandwich bag, fill with the items below and place this message on a note stapled to the back:
Thanks for Being You
I have packed a little bag of things that remind me of you.
- Rubber Band: reminds me of those arms around me and the times I needed hugged;
- Tissue: reminds me of the tears you dried;
- Toothpick: reminds me of how you "pick-out" the good stuff in me;
- Band Aid: reminds me of how you heal hurt feelings;
- Candy Kiss: reminds me of your occasional treats;
- Gold Thread: reminds me of the ties we have formed with each other;
- Eraser: reminds me that when I make mistakes, it's OK;
- Lifesaver Candy: reminds me that I think of you as my "lifesaver," whenever I need to talk you are there;
- Mint: reminds me that you are worth a mint to me.
I use these at appreciation dinners. I have the children that are in care pass these out to the moms or dads. It is inexpensive but a wonderful way to say thank you. The children really like being able to give something back to their families and usually not a dry eye from the moms that will treasure the little bag.