A strong foster network is crucial to allowing any shelter or rescue to help as many animals as possible. In addition to these proven methods of effective foster communication, consider these three tips to ensure your foster families have a good experience that will keep them coming back for more.
Capture Potential Fosters While They’re Excited
There will always be animals that need foster homes, so don’t turn away anyone interested in fostering—even if you don’t currently have an animal for them to take home. Continue holding orientation sessions even if your population is low and be transparent about why you don’t have any animals ready to go at that time. If you have a large outpouring of foster interest, consider holding digital orientations that can accommodate more attendees—and if your orientations fill up, try creating a waitlist so that you can contact potential foster caregivers when enrollment for new orientations opens.
Utilize Facebook Groups
It’s important to keep foster families engaged so that they have an enjoyable experience and continue fostering for your organization. One way to do that is by creating a Facebook group exclusively for your foster caregivers. This gives them the chance to share advice (and lots of cute photos) with each other while maintaining an easy stream of casual communication with both your staff and other foster families.
If you have more foster homes than animals ready for foster, try implementing a “rotating door” of animals. If some time has passed and it’s behaviorally appropriate, try moving animals from one foster home to another. This gives new, excited foster families the chance to have an animal when they otherwise wouldn’t, and you get multiple perspectives on how an animal behaves in a home.