CHAMPS Policy Playbook

CHAMPS promotes policies that encourage and support foster parenting, keep children and youth safe, ensure they grow up in loving families and give them the best chances possible to heal, grow and thrive. The CHAMPS policy playbook was the first policy publication issued by the campaign in October 2017. It outlines a variety of research-based policy approaches that draw on best practices around the country to promote stable, quality foster parenting.  The playbook is available here.

CHAMPS Six-Point Policy Framework

Building on its policy playbook, the CHAMPS campaign offers a six-point policy framework that identifies these actionable policy solutions: (1) Strengthen relationships between foster and birth families; (2) Implement data-driven recruitment and retention practices; (3) Engage foster parents in decision making; (4) Provide timely access to trusted, dedicated staff and peer support to foster parents; (5) Prioritize placements with relatives; and (6) Ensure timely access to physical and mental health services.  See here for the CHAMPS Policy Solutions brief.  An infographic of the policy framework is also available.

CHAMPS-Family First Act 

In February 2018, Congress enacted the Family First Prevention Services Act (Family First), which reforms federal child welfare policy to emphasize the importance of keeping children safely with their families when they are at risk of entering foster care, and ensuring the most family-like setting possible for children who need foster care. This one-page brief highlights shared goals of the CHAMPS and Family First and shows how the two present opportunities to significantly improve outcomes for children and families. See also this brief that highlights ten ways that CHAMPS and Family first promote better outcomes for children.


CHAMPS Research Reviews

All aspects of the CHAMPS campaign leverage the vast body of research that shows that loving, supportive families – whether birth, kin, foster or adoptive – are critical to the healthy development of all children.  The CHAMPS campaign has created this bibliography of research articles that demonstrate the vital importance of stable, quality foster parenting in the lives of children in foster care. CHAMPS also provides this “research highlights” document which offers key themes based on the research. These documents will be updated periodically.

CHAMPS Technical Assistance

Foster parenting is emerging as a top priority nationally and in states. Rising numbers of children entering foster care, reports of foster parent shortages across the country, and new expectations associated with the recently enacted Family First Act call for urgent attention to foster parenting policies. In addition to supporting state advocacy campaigns, CHAMPS provides technical support to policy makers and program leaders to help them identify and implement policies to recruit, support and retain high-quality foster parents.  See here to learn about CHAMPS technical assistance.

Foster Parent Appreciation Toolkit

CHAMPS encourages every community to celebrate its foster parents throughout the year and thank them for their dedication to helping children in foster care heal, grow and thrive. Foster parents are neighbors, work colleagues,  friends, relatives and other kindhearted individuals who step forward to help children in crisis by taking them into their home. There are countless ways to recognize the amazing foster parent in your community.  See here for the CHAMPS Foster Parent Appreciation Toolkit. And take the CHAMPS Pledge to show your support.

How & Why to Get Involved in CHAMPS

CHAMPS is stronger when more individuals and organizations join in the effort to ensure children and youth in foster care experience stable, quality foster parenting. Compelling reasons to get involved: (1) Children do best in and need families. Foster parents are key to helping children heal, grow and thrive; (2)Too many good  foster parents quit due to antiquated policies. This is costly and bad for kids; (3) We know what works; many policy solutions are no- or low-cost solutions; and (4) We can make a difference for kids by acting now. Check out the CHAMPS video and please visit the “GET INVOLVED” section of our website to learn more about action steps, such as signing the pledge. Like Us on Facebook.

CHAMPS Leaders

The CHAMPS campaign brings together research, policy solutions, and key stakeholders to educate decision makers and spur action on foster parenting policy solutions to drive better outcomes for children. Get to know the amazing organizations and leaders involved in championing the needs of children in foster care.

  • See here for an overview of CHAMPS partners
  • Check out the campaign’s news and events
  • See this sampling of blog posts featuring amazing foster parents: Ellen (Virginia), Andrea (South Dakota), and Valarie (Oklahoma)


Coming Soon

Nov-Dec 2018.  CHAMPS will issue a new policy resource that features selected examples of existing policies, programs and practices that align with the campaign’s six-point policy framework.  This resource will provide a blueprint for policymakers interested finding solution.

Jan 2019. In collaboration with the Brookings Institution, CHAMPS is hosting a two-day convening that will engage key stakeholders in sharing and identifying promising approaches to foster parent recruitment, retention and support. The interactive convening will inform the development of new tools and resources to assist public agencies and their community partners in achieving better outcomes for children by through improved foster parent recruitment and support.

Sign the Pledge

Sign the pledge to show your support for today’s amazing foster parents and the importance of quality foster parenting.

Get Involved

We invite you to get involved in CHAMPS and be part of building bright futures for kids in foster care.