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Persona Mapping and Design Workshops: Foster Parent Recruitment and Retention

Foster care

Insight-led strategic approaches don’t happen by chance. By asking a lot of questions using in-depth market analysis, end-user surveys, and Persona mapping we can create a personalized, ‘customer’ approach: one that will better meet and reach the needs of our end-users. Context

The Calgary & District Foster Parents Association (CFPA) is a not-for-profit association dedicated to providing support for foster and kinship parents in Calgary and surrounding areas. With an ever-increasing number of children entering foster care, the CFPA was experiencing difficulty pinpointing successful efforts to reach, recruit and retain qualified foster parents. Tactics Desktop Research, Surveys, & Persona Design Workshops

After first completing an in-depth research analysis of global best practice in foster parent recruitment, we learned that the field required a cultural shift towards strategies that reflect the prospective foster parent using an enhanced digital experience. Next, we took our learnings to those that matter the most - current foster parents. Using a combination of surveys and design workshops, we learned who they were, their initial fostering inspiration (and fears), what type of fostering resources they sought and what relationship they had with the brand. The information allowed us to map out four distinct Persona Groups and develop key messages to enhance brand awareness and engagement.

Foster Calgary

New Visual Identity Prospective foster parents were confused about the program name and its relationship to the CFPA. Meet Foster Calgary: a new visual identity that reflected a nurturing environment, supported by a community of caregivers and experienced foster parents. It’s welcoming, quirky, modern and fun.

Foster Calgary

Enhanced Online Customer Journey

Foster Calgary

A top media source for individuals looking to foster was internet searches. Once parents landed on a foster parenting website, they wanted answers on the what, why, and hows of fostering. We took these learnings to a new Website which did just that. We answered what fostering means, the steps to becoming a foster parent, what supports exist, and we told the shared personal stories from foster parents. Calls to action are peppered throughout the site to allow for easy navigation and contact opportunities, including a personalized quiz for prospective parents to determine their eligibility.

Social Media Storytelling

Social media storytelling was launched to not only reach prospective foster parents but also nurture the community of current foster parents, including foster care mentors. We also engaged with community organizations and key partners to share and recognize thought leadership in the sector.

Foster Calgary
Foster Calgary


We saw increased awareness and engagement online and on the ground. In our first month of social media storytelling alone, Facebook month-over-month trends showed a 580% increase in new page followers, a 6,560% increase in weekly engagement rate among unique users, and a 33,512% increase in weekly total page among unique users. The CFPA reported that they had the best and most qualified in-person attendance at Foster Parenting Information Sessions to date.

Foster Calgary

"Dooley Social Change came into the project with genuine curiosity, empathy, and like-minded values. Her team went straight to work. In each phase, it showed us our strengths and weaknesses, but also who our target audience was and how to reach them. Every task was done with compassion, collaboration, focus, enthusiasm, and dedication to the cause. Any expectations of what we had imagined have been more than exceeded. The information will allow us to recruit and retain the best fit foster homes for our children in care". Maggie Lipman, Foster Care Recruiter - Calgary & District Foster Parents Association

To learn more about Foster Calgary, visit their website here.

To learn more about Dooley Social Change, get in touch with us here. You can also follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook or sign-up to receive our newsletter.

*Partnered with Rebecca Zahn Consulting and Bizaz Media.

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