About the Quality Parenting Initiative
The Quality Parenting Initiative (QPI) is one of Florida's approaches to strengthening foster care, including kinship care, using branding and marketing principles. It is a process designed to help a site develop new strategies and practices, rather than imposing upon it a predetermined set of "best practices." Our core premise is that the primary goal of the child welfare system is to ensure that children have effective, loving parenting. The best way to achieve this goal is to enable the child's own parents to care for him or her. If that isn't possible, the system must ensure that the foster or relative family caring for the child provides the loving, committed, skilled care that the child needs, while working effectively with the system to reach the child's long term goals.
QPI recognizes that the traditional foster care "brand" has negative connotations and this deters families from participating. QPI is an effort to rebrand foster care, not simply by changing a logo or an advertisement, but by changing the core elements underlying the brand. When these changes are accomplished, QPI sites are better able to develop communication materials and to design recruitment training and retention systems for foster parents. The key elements of the QPI process are:
The major successes of the project have been in systems change and improved relationships. Sites have also reported measurable improvement in outcomes such as:
QPI has been supported by the Eckerd Family Foundation, the Stuart Foundation, the Walter S. Johnson Foundation, the David B. Gold Foundation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Key partners include Dr. Denise Goodman, the University of South Florida, Discover True North, the Human Elements, Jane Soltis and Elizabeth Richeda.