Vermont expands efforts to recruit foster parents

Vermont Business Magazine Facing an urgent need to recruit more foster parents to provide safe and loving homes for children and youth, the Vermont Department for Children and Families (DCF) is expanding its recruitment efforts by partnering with the Pride Center of Vermont and RaiseAChild, the nationwide leader in the recruitment and support of LGBTQ+ and all prospective parents interested in building safe and loving families for children and youth in foster care.

Recruitment of foster parents from a diverse cross-section of the state will include multi-media campaigns, events, and monthly virtual information/orientation sessions.

“To support placement stability and overall wellbeing, recruitment, retention, and support of more foster families will help ensure that children and youth who experience abuse, neglect, or abandonment can remain in, or near, their own communities and schools,” stated Aryka Radke, Deputy Commissioner of DCF.

Currently, in Vermont, there are 1,077 children and youth in the State’s custody. The best-case scenario if a child/youth cannot remain safely within their home is to be placed with kinship or close connections. If that is not possible, DCF works hard to match a foster family to a child.

“This as an incredible opportunity to engage the LGBTQ community and others in becoming interested in foster parenting” stated Mike Bensel, Executive Director of the Pride Center of Vermont. “There is also a great need to find supportive and affirming foster homes for youth who identify as LGBTQ+, who are overrepresented in foster care and often suffer compounded trauma when they age out of the foster system, increasing propensity for negative life outcomes.”

RaiseAChild has created an outreach and awareness campaign specific to Vermont to welcome and encourage LGBTQ+ and all adults across the state to consider becoming foster parents.

“RaiseAChild’s ‘let love define family®’ motto is an expression of the respect and value we place on all people, all children, and all family formations.” stated Richard Valenza, Founder and CEO of RaiseAChild.

Foster parents can be single adults, straight or LGBTQ+ couples, children’s relatives, family friends and other approved caregivers. Visit to learn more about the benefits of becoming a foster or foster-to-adopt parent, schedule a call with a RaiseAChild Parent Advocate Program Team Member, or register for an upcoming Vermont Zoom Info Session event.

Waterbury, Vt. – Vermont Department for Children and Families