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  • Success Story

How Michigan Leverages Digital Communications to Recruit Foster Parents

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The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) uses the govDelivery Communications Suite and support from Granicus Experience Group (GXG) to increase access to information about becoming a foster parent and engagement with parents who are interested in offering foster care. Through a three-phase email and interactive text campaign strategy, MDHHS has been able to increase their subscriber base by over 20,000 people and reach subscribers through multiple channels. This has helped MDHHS work toward their goals of increasing interest in becoming foster parents and ultimately licensing more foster parents.

"With each phase, it’s been great to not only see campaign results, but also see the level of excitement and involvement from the Granicus team. I can tell they are truly vested in this project and care about finding homes for kids in foster care."
Erica Quealy, Marketing Specialist, Michigan Department of Health & Human Services


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MDHHS Needs Improved Foster Parent Recruitment Strategy

In Michigan, there are over 13,000 children in the foster care system at any given time who need to be placed in foster homes. As a result, MDHHS has recruitment goals each year to find families to provide a safe home for these children until they can be returned to their families or provided with permanent homes.

MDHHS wanted to increase recruitment and formalize communication processes to provide in-depth information about becoming a foster parent. To increase their reach and improve communications, MDHHS decided they needed to enhance their communications strategy.


Custom Digital Campaigns Increased Overall Engagement

Quealy was already leveraging the Granicus email platform but not to its full potential. “I was overseeing the email platform with limited resources and I realized that we could be doing so much more if we had the support of the govDelivery Communications Suite,” said Erica Quealy, Marketing Specialist, Michigan Department of Health & Human Services. “Adopting it allowed us to do the same type of outreach we had been doing but at a larger level and greater scale.”

MDHHS worked with govDelivery and GXG to create a multiple-phase strategy to grow their reach. The first campaign focused on audience acceleration through a targeted email campaign. By testing out different elements of emails like subject lines and background colors, MDHHS was able to determine what their audience responded best to and grow their subscribers from 2,000 to nearly 12,000.

The second campaign continued to focus on audience acceleration but added SMS text messaging as a communication channel. The interactive text campaign was designed to promote the Foster Care Navigators program and included two separate interactive text message surveys for MDHHS’s “Foster Care and Adoption” subscribers.

“We had a really positive response rate to our text messaging campaign and were able to set up 90 phone calls with people who indicated they were interested in having a personal conversation about becoming a foster parent through the interactive text.”
Erica Quealy, Marketing Specialist, Michigan Department of Health & Human Services

Now in its third campaign with govDelivery and GXG, MDHHS is focused on increasing the amount of text message subscribers and their engagement in order to increase the number of personal conversations MDHHS is having with potential foster parents.


Finding Foster Parents

  • MDHHS increased their number of total subscribers from 2,000 to nearly 23,000 through three communications campaigns and promotional campaigns leveraging of the govDelivery Network.
  • The first interactive SMS campaign resulted in 90 informational phone calls with potential foster parents.
  • The campaigns ultimately increased awareness about how to become a foster parent in Michigan and further opened the line of communication between MDHHS and potential foster parents by leveraging more communication channels.

About govDelivery and GXG

govDelivery and GXG offers strategic outreach and support of government missions across the country. With unique knowledge of the public sector engagement, project managers can operate as an extension to a digital communications and outreach team to provide design, data intelligence, and digital engagement services support.