Maddie's Pet Forum Admin
Posted December 19, 2018 at 12:03 PM Under "Foster Programs"
Question of the Week #29 - Recruiting Fosters

What is your best tip for recruiting new fosters?

  • amabre    May 18, 2019 at 12:24 PM

    Flyering works! We put flyers on any and all community boards around town: florist, coffee shops, bike shops, some boutiques will hang them inside their dressing rooms, grocery stores, public libraries, etc.

  • Regan Goins    March 26, 2019 at 04:27 PM

    Emergency foster pleas. Whenever we have a weather emergency in Austin, we are able to recruit over 100 new foster applications in a single day by pleaing for emergency fosters. If you would like more information, please email me at

  • Cara Sue    January 24, 2019 at 05:23 AM

    I've fostered 136 dogs and puppies for an all-breed rescue in the midatlantic. I've written a blog about my experiences for the past four years in the hopes of not only finding homes for my foster dogs, but to encourage others to give fostering a try. This week I wrote about a little dog I'm fostering who has a nipping issue. The blog is in case you want to check it out. It's been a great tool for helping get the word out about our rescue and about how rewarding (and hard) fostering is.

  • pcasvolunteers    January 23, 2019 at 01:18 PM

    When recruiting fosters, I think for our shelter, the biggest thing is being very open and honest from the start on what the expectations are. We are a municipal shelter so resources are extremely limited. We are up front about what may go into fostering such as costs of KMR, the every 2 week check up we require, and I think that being so transparent has helped in recruiting fosters that are ready for all that it entails. It's never a good feeling (as a foster coordinator and foster parent myself) to find out after the fact about things you weren't aware of when you signed up. So we've been able to retain some great foster folks because we are overly communicative from our website and to our emails/calls/etc. so they know what to expect and how to prepare.

  • WendyFrink    January 10, 2019 at 09:23 AM

    As a foster caregiver myself, I think it's really important that you nurture the relationships you have with current fosters. It's frustrating when I reply to a plea and don't hear back or when I feel like a cat has been forgotten about. Just something to think about.

  • Karen Green    December 27, 2018 at 12:55 PM

    Our foster manual is specific to kittens, but for anyone who is interested, you can find it (and most of our foster program materials) here! (Just click the links on the left side of the page.)

    We're excited to be welcoming our first group of shelters to our Maddie's Fostering 4 Rock Stars Apprenticeship at Cat Adoption Team in just four weeks!

  • SAPATJT    December 27, 2018 at 12:11 PM

    Ensuring that we have a list of "Next Steps" that the fosters receive via e-mail seems to be the best way to ensure that fosters are prepared to take on animals (and sometimes multiples!) Being able to praise our fosters via social media and obtain funding to further provide them with goodies and helpful materials and resources is great. Even free resources can come in handy.

    • EmmeH    December 29, 2018 at 07:28 AM

      @SAPATJT I love the idea of e-mailing the next steps for new fosters! I often think a single training is too much for people to take in all at once, and by the time they have fosters in-hand, they may not feel confident that they know what to do. Would you mind sharing what your timeline for sending these e-mails looks like?

    • jenSL02    December 28, 2018 at 10:06 AM

      @SAPATJT Would you be willing to share your list as an example? We are working on updating our foster resources and need something similar.

  • dbraniff    December 23, 2018 at 04:25 AM

    Hi Emily,

    I am the Cat Foster Coordinator for a rescue in northern Indiana and would love to see your foster manual. I also would love to know what training you give new fosters.


    Dawn B

    • EmilyAldritt    December 27, 2018 at 06:41 AM

      Hi Dawn,

      I would love to send you our manual and new foster training materials! Could you post your email address?



      • TLRD    January 29, 2019 at 02:44 PM

        I would like to see them too.

  • EmilyAldritt    December 22, 2018 at 08:02 AM

    I'm the Foster Coordinator for a medium sized shelter in Northern Minnesota, we have about 100 current fosters. The best recruitment tactics that I have used are using pictures of animals currently needing foster and being able to send those animals into foster directly after the training. We have about 20,000 followers on Facebook, so I post occasionally on there, but I also utilize our weekly radio and TV slots. One of the best ways to get new fosters is through word of mouth, utilizing your current foster and volunteers. I often ask my best fosters if they have any friends or family that are interested because I want more of them! We also have a short online application so people can apply while their interest is highest, I usually follow up within 48 hours and offer training one-on-one whenever possible.

    We also have an amazing foster manual and I would be more than willing to share!

    • M Fidler    December 26, 2018 at 04:54 AM

      I would love to see the foster manual as well. Keeping up with our foster program is one of the hardest tasks for me. We seem to utilize a handful of the same fosters over and over and lack with recruiting new ones.

      • EmilyAldritt    December 27, 2018 at 06:47 AM

        I have attached our Foster Manual for anyone who wants to look at it. We put it together with the help of a Maddie's Fund Innovation Grant and lots of Maddie's Fund resources.

        • Betty    January 15, 2019 at 10:43 AM

          Emily, thank you for sharing this! Lots of great ideas!

    • Cathy T    December 24, 2018 at 04:09 AM

      I would love to see the manual as well-

      • EmilyAldritt    December 27, 2018 at 06:47 AM

        I have attached our Foster Manual for anyone who wants to look at it. We put it together with the help of a Maddie's Fund Innovation Grant and lots of Maddie's Fund resources.

    • BHSFoster    December 23, 2018 at 05:17 AM

      Are you able to upload your manual here or share via email? I am finalizing our manual for 2019 and would love to see other examples!

      • EmilyAldritt    December 27, 2018 at 06:45 AM

        I have attached our Foster Manual for anyone who wants to look at it. We put it together with the help of a Maddie's Fund Innovation Grant and lots of Maddie's Fund resources.

  • Lu,ckyleo7    December 21, 2018 at 08:17 PM

    We cover medical, food, etc. We give them a nice bag and food.