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Discussion Starter #1
How much control does your rescue have over fostering facilities?

This thread is about the physical setup (facility) and not about the foster as an individual.

How does your rescue determine if the home setup meets minimum standards of your organization?

Does your Board of Directors set up a minimum set of standards?

Who determins if the foster home meets these minimum standards?
a) Does one individual make the decision?
b) Does an individual/group check out the home and report back to a committee?
c) Is there any follow-up on an approved foster home? If so is it annually? More often?
d) Do you have a written policy on how to release a foster home from under the umbrella of your rescue? What is the procedure?
e) If you no longer use a certain foster for one reason or another then what happens to any animals in their care when you pull your support?
 

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and never bite anyone.

Bottom line, adopted immediately.

To answer your specific question, I have a great deal of control over my foster group, because they accept me opinion. Nonetheless, at times we do disagree.
 

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Sorry, most of my initial reply did not take.

I am a foster, and if you do a decent job it will be appreciated among all foster groups.

I will add one aother note. As a foster, once you do a good job, the eventual owners are up to you, perhaps in part because the rescue groups will trust us fosters.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So by your post Timber1, I take it your rescue group does not have a BOD or any written policies in place concerning the setup of your home? Number of dogs allowed? Policies on how you manage the care of the dogs assigned to you? No in-house governance checkups?
 

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How does your rescue determine if the home setup meets minimum standards of your organization?
Our volunteers who foster apply using the same application as any other volunteer and go through the same process: personal references, vet references, and a phone interview. The application also includes language on some very broad guidelines for how SASRA dogs are to be treated. We ask every volunteer to attend a general orientation to the group and the fosters have a more detailed foster orientation.

Does your Board of Directors set up a minimum set of standards?
Yes, along with input from our Placement Committee and experienced foster homes. However, given the current events, maybe they are not sufficiently detailed/specific.

Who determins if the foster home meets these minimum standards?
a) Does one individual make the decision?
b) Does an individual/group check out the home and report back to a committee?
c) Is there any follow-up on an approved foster home? If so is it annually? More often?

a-c: We have a Volunteer Committee (newly formed, so we're still shaking out the wrinkles) that includes 2 Board members who also happen to be long-time foster volunteers. At this point, the other members of the committee are newer volunteers so the more experienced folks have a more active role. We do not do home checks, but have always had a more experienced volunteer assist with pulling the dog, introductions, showings, adoption paperwork, etc. for a new foster home. We'd love more foster homes, but being smaller does help keep us on top of what's happening with the foster volunteer, their family, and the dogs. We also just completed a Volunteer Handbook and a Foster Home Handbook that go into more specifics about SASRA's expectations.

d) Do you have a written policy on how to release a foster home from under the umbrella of your rescue? What is the procedure?

We don't and I'm going to ask that this be on the agenda of our next Board meeting. We started a conversation when there seemed to be a pattern emerging with a foster who was not forwarding vet information and seemed to not understand our limitations on vet care. In the end a one-on-one conversation cleared it up and she continues to be a very successful foster home. So, for us, it's about being a good "case mager" for the dog in addition to being a good caretaker.

e) If you no longer use a certain foster for one reason or another then what happens to any animals in their care when you pull your support?

We sort of had this experience when one of the founding members left the group because of a disagreement about the importance of reference checks and adoption contracts. All the dogs she was fostering were picked up from her kennel and moved to other foster homes within a day or two of her deciding to leave. I think the Board may have also notified the vet she used (which would bill the organization) that she was no longer representing SASRA. It was a bit awkward for the folks picking up the dogs, but I think the dynamics were different because it was more her call to leave vs. someone being told they will no longer be considered for fostering.
 

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Originally Posted By: ILGHAUSHow much control does your rescue have over fostering facilities?

This thread is about the physical setup (facility) and not about the foster as an individual.

How does your rescue determine if the home setup meets minimum standards of your organization?

Does your Board of Directors set up a minimum set of standards?

Who determins if the foster home meets these minimum standards?
a) Does one individual make the decision?
b) Does an individual/group check out the home and report back to a committee?
c) Is there any follow-up on an approved foster home? If so is it annually? More often?
d) Do you have a written policy on how to release a foster home from under the umbrella of your rescue? What is the procedure?
e) If you no longer use a certain foster for one reason or another then what happens to any animals in their care when you pull your support?
I can speak as a foster home to GSRNE since 2002.

GSRNE is pretty strict in terms of all this. When someone applies to foster, they fill out an application to foster to determine if they are going to meet the minimum requirements, such as the fence requirement, etc.

From there, someone from the foster home coordination group goes out to interview them in their home, meeting all family members as well as other dogs. If and once they are approved, then they are matched up with an appropriate dog to match their leadership skills, lifestyle, etc.

From there, the foster home coordinator will set up their home with a dog and supplies in person, especially the first time. I've been on these setups and it's a pretty thorough process, with training on the spot, review of safety, etc.

Once the dog is established in the foster home, there are periodic written reports that come in from the foster home, describing how the dog is doing. Of course, there are also emails and phone calls as needed, but the written reports are mandatory. These reports give the foster home coordinator and the rest of the team a chance to get to know the dog. If there are any behavioral issues, they send the Foster Home Trainor out to help the foster home work on the issues, and she will usually follow the dog into the adoptive home too if warranted. They really want to be sure both foster dog and foster family are all doing ok.

In the interim, I, as the photographer, will set up a formal photoshoot with the foster home, so there is yet another set of eyes on the dog, and those photos come into the team, including the board. Sometimes I'm personal friends with the foster home and so I see the foster dogs routinely, and then so does everyone else, through my photos.

Sometimes there is a sponsor who also exchanges information with the foster home, and the foster home stays close to GSRNE that way, too. By the way, ALL expenses for the dogs are paid for by the rescue, including high quality vet care, food, etc.

In the end, the Adoption Coordinator, who is part of the team that gets the reports and photos, is able to make a match with an adoptive family, who are often on standby waiting for their much anticipated new family member. Foster home input is invaluable, but they don't have the final say. I'm not sure if it's a board decision or if it just ends with the Adoption Coordinator.

I don't know the answer to your question about removing dogs from fosters or fosters from the rescue.

As you can imagine, the way the process is set up is labor and time intensive. And sometimes, after all the investment in a new foster home, they want to adopt their foster and we've lost them, and the whole process starts over with new foster homes. And it's never easy, because we cover all six states in New England, so often there is a lot of driving involved.

As a sidenote, last year I fostered two dogs for them. I'm part of the core team there, and many volunteers including board members, foster home coordinators, adoption coordinators, fundraising people, etc have been to my home over the years. Despite knowing me and my dogs really well, the President and the Foster Home Coordinator set the dog up in my home, with a new crate, box of goodies, and lots of paperwork to go over in terms of the specific needs of my foster. (Usually there is only one person to handle this, but they picked the dog up together and sometimes it turns into somewhat of a social outing, too).

We also have a foster home that has been fostering for ten years for us. I think last count was 9 dogs for him, or maybe more? I handle all his photoshoots, see him on average of once per week. Anyway, he just won foster home of the year. Yet still, every dog that comes into his house is brought to him by a key player in the rescue.

And in terms of our board members, I've been inside all their homes, including recently, as have many others. In fact, many of the meetings are held at their homes.

I think the point I'm trying to make is that GSRNE likes to keep control over every dog that comes in, not only for the sake of the dog, but also for the safety and well being of the foster homes.

Of course, there is definitely a downside to all this. It's a HUGE investment of time and labor for both the volunteers at the rescue, AND for the foster homes themselves, and so, things move along (or should I say 'crawl' along?) more slowly than most would like, and we have the same issue as everyone else, never enough foster homes (with many approved adopters patiently waiting). But I've heard it said they won't sacrifice their standard of quality to raise their numbers.

As another sidenote, as I've mentioned before, is that their philosophy is that it's 50% about the dogs, and 50% about the people. Because RECRUITMENT of foster homes is so hard, I think it's really important to focus on RETENTION, keeping your volunteers happy AND healthy, establishing a platform to help them succeed at whatever it is they're signed up for, including fostering, and of course, never forgetting to say thank-you, thank-you, thank-you.
 

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I know you didn't ask about shelters, but might it apply too?

I've fostered for my local shelter, both cats and dogs. Although they, too, have a board and a similar team of people, everything was handled on a verbal level with fewer restrictions, especially in terms of the cats.

The shepherd I fostered for them had a hip replacement, and while recovering in my house for two months, there were volunteers at my house almost everyday to help with him. Despite being known as the shelter's photographer at the time, they STILL wanted to keep control over their dog and especially make sure he was covered while I was working. There was an adoption party at the end, with a nice write-up in the paper of how much labor and time and how many volunteers stepped up so this dog could have the surgery (first time the shelter went down this path). It was a major intrusion in my life, and looking back, maybe even more than what was needed, but I do give the shelter a lot of credit for the way they handled everything. I do believe it was one of their first attempts at dog fostering, and in light of the recent events, I think I'll ask her how she's handling things these days.
 

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Sorry I did not respond in more detail. My rescue has a written contract which the eventul person that adopts a dog must agree to. They have done a home inspection of my house, and the rescues I have placed do have all medical records. I also have to abide my their rules.

It is difficult to describe how I manage the dogs assigned to me, but on average I am very kind and time permitting do NIFIL training.

Most of the dogs I have gotten, even those described as aggressive, are not. I have 2 forever German Shepherds, and they are helpful with the rescue dogs. One of the two, Paris is a rescue.

And yes, my group has a Board of Directors and everyone, regardless of rescue or adoption has a home inspection.

Another response from the ill-informed that tells me why my resuce group wnats to avoid this board.

Personal respponses and contact appreciated, but if you have no idea how much good my group does, it is perhaps better not to render an opinon on this board.

Why so critical???
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Quote: Another response from the ill-informed that tells me why my resuce group wnats to avoid this board.

Personal respponses and contact appreciated, but if you have no idea how much good my group does, it is perhaps better not to render an opinon on this board.

Why so critical???

Were these remarks of yours directed to me? If so where was I critical of you or your rescue? I don't even know what rescue you are involved in so how could I "render an opinion on this board"? I'm sorry but I have no idea what you are talking about?
 

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I think the purpose of the thread is to share policies and procedures to see if rescues can be improved. I don't see it as being critical of any particular person or rescue. I'm happy it was posted, as I am gaining a lot of insight as to rescue procedures.
 

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Of course my comments were, because you assumed my group was not good enough for your standards as the following implies which is 100ercent inaccurate.

So by your post Timber1, I take it your rescue group does not have a BOD or any written policies in place concerning the setup of your home? Number of dogs allowed? Policies on how you manage the care of the dogs assigned to you? No in-house governance checkups?


_________________________
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Timber1 I did not assume anything. You posted something in answer to some questions I had put up. I had asked if rescues would share their policies and if these policies were written. You came back with your rescue pretty well lets you make your own decisions. So instead of assuming anything, I only was restating what I believed your answer was to me. I was giving you the chance to come back and correct my thinking.

Your quote:
Quote: To answer your specific question, I have a great deal of control over my foster group, because they accept me opinion. Nonetheless, at times we do disagree.
It was not putting your group or you down. It was only after my post back to you that you came back and finished answering the original question.

Again your quote:
Quote: Sorry I did not respond in more detail. My rescue has a written contract which the eventul person that adopts a dog must agree to. They have done a home inspection of my house, and the rescues I have placed do have all medical records. I also have to abide my their rules.
So at this point we see that yes, your rescue does have a BOD and does have written policies.
 

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This may sound silly, but if the rescue person does OK, the people that adopt the dog care for it, the medical records are in order. and the rescue group is good, why is a contract so important.

For example, our rescue group requires two different classes.

I guess this might be a bit off topic, but if I can find a good home for a dog, why so much paper work. I have a high end GSD, and LOL the papers I needed to sign for Timber are less then most rescue groups require, and with the rescues all we trying to do is place them in a good home.

One of your posts asked a ton of questions about what rescues require and perhaps my reaction was not the best.

But as a novice rescue guy my only concerns are appropriate medical info and a caring home for these dogs.
 

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Re: How much control does your rescue have over fo

The paperwork is VERY necessary. One of my gsd fosters from FIVE YEARS ago ended up back with the rescue because of a domestic violence situation. The home was great 5 years ago but then something went wrong. Because of all that paperwork she knew she could return the dog to us and so he ended up back in foster care and finding a new home instead of ending up in a shelter and being pts because of his health issues!!!!!!!!!!!! That's just one example but the bottom line is that all paperwork is necessary to protect the dogs!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Quote:why is a contract so important
What type of contract? Do you mean a contract between your rescue and an adopter? Guess it is the only way your rescue would feel they have some control over the manner in which the new adopters took care of the dog? Contracts and their use would be another topic -- if you have questions on the use of them maybe you could start a topic and get some helpful feedback. I think it might be a helpful source of info for new rescues to see how old ones set theirs up and why.

Are you by any chance refering to my other thread on websites where I asked if someone looking for <u>contact</u> information could find it easily? If that is what you read I was refering to some sites that give enough information to get the reader interested and then bury their contact information in layers of pages. It gets frustrating when you want to respond or ask an additional question and can't find an email or even a snail-mail address to send off your questions to.

And to this statement of yours --
Quote: One of your posts asked a ton of questions about what rescues require and perhaps my reaction was not the best.
I was asking what rescues require of themselves and of their fosters not of the general public. All of my posts in this current series was to help rescues take a look at themselves and find their weak areas. The point behind the postings were to allow one rescue to pass on helpful info to another who may want some help.

I'm not putting anyone down because they do not follow my standards. The questions I put up are those under discussion now by different state agencies and by the IRS itself. The weak areas that I was trying to cover are those of several rescues/shelters that I am personally aware of right now who are currently undergoing IRS audits and lawsuits.

No one is forced to participate in any of these discussions. None are being posted to put any individual down or any organization. They were put up to help rescues do some self-checks thus why I even posted that some questions posted were not even for answering on these threads. Just read them as an in-house check list and either think this is an area that we are fine in, this is an area that we need to take a look at and maybe make some changes, or this is an area that has nothing to do with my group and so can be ignored.
 

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