Member of the Month is an opportunity for the Adoption Exchange Association to showcase one of our fellow organization members who has:
- Implemented a unique and successful recruitment or retention strategy to place children into permanent homes; or
- Collaborated with various partners to remedy interstate adoption; or
- Educated the public about the needs of children in foster care through the use of innovation, technology, traditional media, or social media; or
- Demonstrated exemplary fundraising efforts that contributed to organizational growth.
1. Social workers who are in the know, know to call FLO when they have a crisis with a family or child in Seattle. How did you develop your relationship with area social workers?
Being in the "neighborhood" for the past 16 years helps a lot because people know our name; we are just always there to answer the call. It does take a lot of effort to keep up with maintaining a presence in the field with the various offices both in and outside of Washington, but that's where the real gold of FLO steps in.
FLO is about the families, and often it is our families who are saying in the moment, "have you called FLO yet?" to the social workers. Our ability to rely on the word of mouth from the families, social workers, CASA's, GAL's, and attorneys who are there year after year for our children is really what keeps us in business. Of course we are always available to do office presentations and trainings whenever we can to educate and remind the workers directly that we are here to help them; most workers like to hear those words.
2. Your recruitment and evaluation process of families is so unique. I think I called it "relational recruitment." Can you explain how you approach your work?
Our recruitment is done through peer-to-peer connections and contacts. It is more like talking with a friend or family member then a possible new family for an at-risk youth in care. They get to know us as individuals and we get to know them. Most of our team have met some of our best families in the check-out line in the grocery story. It really comes down to building that relationship. It takes a bit longer but the steps of building trust means we have families that stick with their kids even on the hardest days.
3. Can you describe the online reference pages you created for families who are new to the process? How can people access it, and what information does it provide?
The pages address diagnostic challenges like Attachment Disorder others or how to better understand a photo listing. Each page is designed through the eyes of the family, versus the eyes of the professional. Because it's on our site a family has access to the information 24/7 regardless of location. These online tools, which are updated as we can, are designed to provide quick, easy, take-away information for families to utilize on the fly
4. How many families have you helped over the years?
We have directly, or indirectly provided some level of assistance to well over 2,000 youth and countless pre and post adoptive families