FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Recruitment and Retention Local Innovation Fund

August 27, 2019

Through the Recruitment and Retention Local Innovation Fund, the CDHS Office of Children, Youth and Families is providing county departments of human/social services and licensed child placement agencies short-term funding for efforts and/or activities to recruit new foster and adoptive parents or support the retention of foster families. This is a cost-reimbursement opportunity, not a grant program. 

Any county department of human/social services or licensed child placement agency (CPA) in Colorado is eligible to receive funding through the Local Innovation Fund. Online applications must be received by 5 p.m. on October 11, 2019. Funds will be awarded by Friday, October 18, 2019. The maximum award amount is $4,000. Awards will be determined based on the guidelines and requirements listed below.

Applicants are highly encouraged to align their Local Innovation Fund application with the organization’s diligent recruitment plan. Full funding is not guaranteed and only applicants that align their request with their diligent recruitment efforts are eligible for full funding. Additionally, applications that align with diligent recruitment plans will be prioritized in funding decisions.

Ideas for the use of funds include, but are not limited to:

  • Staff training on recruitment and customer service for the purposes of retention
  • Marketing and communication tools, such as website improvements, brochures and videos
  • Advertising (out-of-home and print advertising as well as digital advertising)
  • Recruitment and/or retention events
  • Activities that target unique audiences and communities identified as a recruitment need in the county or CPA’s diligent recruitment plan
  • Child-specific recruitment strategies
  • Child care or respite
  • Coaching, support groups and mentoring programs for foster parents
  • Parents’ night out events
  • Family activities
  • Education or ongoing training

Applicants may apply to use funding for efforts that they have completed in the past; however, applicants should explain how they are strengthening this ongoing effort.

Guidelines and Requirements:

  • Informational materials and giveaways printed through the Local Innovation Fund must include the Colorado Department of Human Services logo. The appearance of the CDHS logo must be approved before items are printed. Contact Mary Gerlach ( or 303-866-4396) for approval of logo use and questions about branding.
  • Funds may not be used to fund May Foster Care events or November National Adoption Month events or activities.
  • Most efforts or activities supported through the Local Innovation Fund must be completed by April 30, 2020. New this year, the Local Innovation Fund can be used for booth/table registration costs for festivals that take place after May 1, 2020 and before October 1, 2020.
  • Counties and CPAs may include several different activities and efforts in their Local Innovation Fund application.
  • Based on stakeholder feedback, and in lieu of participant evaluations and a summary evaluation, Local Innovation Fund recipients will be required to submit a one-to-two-page article explaining: who the organization reached and why this audience was selected, the impact of the effort and lessons learned. This content may be shared with child welfare professionals via and related platforms to encourage idea sharing and to disseminate best practices. Recipients need only submit one article. The deadline to submit this article is May 15, 2020. Read a sample article here:
  • Recipients will also be asked to answer via survey: how many families/potential families did you reach and what community did you target? Recipients will also need to report on a SMART goal, which they will set for themselves. Recipients need only complete one survey and report on one SMART goal by May 15, 2020. A link to this survey can be found below.
  • Local Innovation Fund applicants are encouraged, but not required, to collaborate with other organizations and/or businesses.
  • Funded activities may be adjusted based on actual funds awarded. All adjustments must be requested and approved by CDHS in writing.
  • Photographs of the funded event or activity are highly encouraged.
  • Failure to submit an article, invoices and/or enter expenditures into CFMS by the associated deadlines may impact future funding. If the Fund recipient has an issue meeting a deadline, CDHS must be contacted prior to the deadline to discuss alternative arrangements.

Local Innovation Fund recipients must first incur the costs associated with the award. Counties can submit expenses for reimbursement using the County Financial Management System (CFMS). CPAs must submit an invoice to CDHS to be reimbursed.

Apply Today

To apply to use SFY20 Recruitment & Retention Local Innovation Funds, complete the electronic grant application and submit a signature page available below.

Required Forms and Documents


  • Application Deadline: October 11, 2019 UPDATE: Applications are no longer being accepted.
  • Completion of effort/activity: April 30, 2020 unless an approved festival occurring between May 1, 2020 and before October 1, 2020.
  • Expenditures entered into CFMS (counties only): May 8, 2020
  • Submit invoice for expenditures to CDHS (CPAs only): May 8, 2020
    • NOTE: Multiple invoices can be submitted throughout the duration of the funding period. Please allow 30 days to receive payment.
  • Submit Article and Complete Survey: May 15, 2020


Mary Gerlach
Communications Manager
P 303.866.4396 I 

Meladie Clopton
Foster Care & Adoption Recruitment & Retention Specialist
P 303.866.5930 I 


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