Thank you for your interest in joining the Maddie’s Fund nationwide fostering study. We’re excited about working together with you! Let us tell you a bit more about the study.
We're studying the impacts of three different types of fostering. Those are field trips: a few hours out of the shelter, sleepovers: a night or two away from the shelter, and longer-term fostering: stays in a foster home of a week or longer. Hopefully, you’ve reached out because you want to implement a new sleepover program (and already have a successful field trip program) or are ready for longer-term fostering and have robust field trip & sleepover programs in place!
Your first step to join the study is to complete our Foster Readiness Questionnaire (click here to get started & save this link). This questionnaire helps us understand more about you and your organization, particularly your current fostering, volunteer, and other related programs. It should only take about 10-15 minutes to complete.
Once you complete this questionnaire, we’ll email you about setting up a video conference meeting with you and key shelter personnel that would be involved in carrying out the new foster program and collecting data for the study. In this meeting, we’ll help you determine, based on your current programs and experiences, what foster program would work best for you. After the meeting, we’ll share with you the Realistic Job Preview associated with the fostering program.
After you sign off on the Realistic Job Preview, we’ll send you out our Study Application. This is where we start collecting data about your organization, so it will include questions about your intake, adoptions, the usual shelter numbers. We’ll also ask that we receive a Letter from your Executive Director supporting your participation in the study and implementing this program. As the study point-person, we’ll also need you to agree & sign our Declaration of Expectations which clearly outlines the deadlines and duties involved in participating in the study.
From there, you’ll receive free training from Maddie’s Fund. This in-person apprenticeship will include all the materials and guidance you’ll need to implement your new foster program. By participating in the study, you agree to implement your new foster program 45 days after training. To give you plenty of support, our research team will visit you at your shelter as you’re getting your program off the ground.
While we’re there, our research team will assist you in getting your data collection underway. You’ll need to keep track of what dogs participate, their demographics and outcomes - and we’ll check in with you every two weeks via video conference to make sure everything’s running smoothly. We’ll also help you collect surveys from your staff and volunteers about their morale and job satisfaction. That’ll happen before and after the study.
Lastly, we ask that 40 dogs participate in the study and that we have a complete dataset from those dogs. So that’s the overview. We’re excited about this study, and hope you’re as excited as we are! To come on board, fill out the Foster Readiness Questionnaire (click here to get started & save this link), and we will be in touch ASAP.
Thank you so much for your interest in the Maddie’s Fund nationwide fostering study. We’re looking forward to working together with you! If you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Lisa Gunter, Erica Feuerbacher, Rachel Gilchrist, JoAnna Platzer, Emily Blade, Ally Verba, and Clive Wynne
Maddie’s Fund Nationwide Fostering Study Research Teams at Arizona State University & Virginia Tech