New Ways To Think About Recruitment
The Guardian has reported on new thinking about the recruitment of foster carers, in an article written by James Foyle, a fostering recruitment consultant. His aim is to shed some light on a new “profiling tool”. A tool which will “allow fostering services to find out the values of those who foster, and [could] help with recruitment drives”.
Foyle admits something we all know nowadays – that “fostering services are under pressure”. There is … “a need to attract the right people with the right skills and qualities, and support them through a rigorous assessment to find enough homes for the children in their care”.
Foyle then drives home a figure we’ve seen before: “this year alone, there is a need for 8,600 new foster families”. This fact alone highlights an urgency. Getting the recruitment messaging right, to attract a greater number of potential carers, is paramount. The light at the end of the tunnel for fostering agencies? 24% of UK adults would consider fostering children, according to a YouGov poll.
But 24% of all adults across the entire country is plenty of people indeed. A number so high, that applying a ‘one size fits all’ approach is anything but an option. Enter a possible remedy – Values Mode.
Values Mode is a tool that profiles “a person’s personality and values”. Our personalities dictate all details of our lives, from whom we bank with to who gets our vote at election time. As Foyle states, it only makes sense to consider values like these during foster recruitment.
Using this tool for fostering recruitment has been trialled, producing compelling results:
“73% of foster carers share the same ‘pioneer’ values set, compared with a UK national average of around 30%. Pioneers have a strong sense of right and wrong, are concerned … about the society in which they live, and have a strong desire to make a difference”.
Alongside this, the remaining proportion are “prospectors” and “settlers”. These types of potential carers must be increasingly targeted going forwards if the UK is going to close the gap between the number of carers we have and the number that we need. As it stands, recruitment campaigns “are largely pioneer-led”, which will obviously need to be adapted in future.