Best Marketing/Advertising Channels for Reaching Would-Be Foster & Adoptive Parents


Updated March 30, 2015

This information is based on a foster parent demographic and social media  report I gathered for a well-known national adoption group. The intent is to determine which digital and media outlets are best suited for reaching would-be foster and adoptive parents.


This page is made available to all so that anyone who wishes to reach would-be foster and adoptive parents can optimize their efforts. This page will be updated as I learn and test more channels.


To learn more about typical foster parent demographics, click here

Foster Parents: How to Reach Them

  • When it comes to social media, Facebook is the “sweet spot” social channel for reaching potential foster and adoptive parents. Early digital marketing tests reveal that the overwhelming majority of individuals clicking on ads to view foster child profiles are women. Most FB users are women. Also FB users are not poor, but are also not wealthy. Nor are they the most educated among us. Both align with the typical foster care parent demographic. 

  • LinkedIn skews to employed individuals in the prime years of their careers who are more educated than the general population. Therefore, LinkedIn is a good source for Board members wishing to reach potential donors; however given that many foster care givers do not have full-time jobs and tend to have lower household incomes, LinkedIn is not the ideal resource for finding and recruiting foster parents. 

  • As mentioned early digital tests show that women are more likely to click on child profile links. Given that Twitter has begun to skew more towards a male audience, this makes it a less desirable channel for reaching potential foster and adoptive parents.

  • Early digital tests show that people in the age range of 35-44 are most likely to click on child profiles. 31.5% of 25-34 year olds click on child profiles. YouTube is most desirable for reaching and audience between 18-34. It is worth researching more socioeconomic data on YouTube users and potentially running experiments here for reaching foster parents.  

  • While local TV news’ viewership is on the decline, 46% of the target foster care audience (30-49 year olds), still watch TV news. Foster parents are less likely to work full-time, which likely means they are home during the day to see local TV news at “off” hours. Therefore, it is still worth pursuing television recruiting such as Wednesday’s Child; however it would be beneficial to do a time-of-day study to see which TV broadcast times yield the best results in generating foster parent inquiries and ultimately leading to adoption from foster care.  


Data to Back-up the Conclusions Above

Source: Business Insider, REVEALED: The Demographic Trends For Every Social Network


  • Facebook is used by more women. 79% are within 30-49, which is a target age of foster/adoptive parents. 

  • The majority of FB users make $49,999 per year or less. The majority of users have some college. 

  • LinkedIn is actually more popular than Twitter among U.S. adults. LinkedIn's core demographic ages are those aged between 30 and 49, i.e. those in the prime of their career-rising years. Not surprisingly, LinkedIn also has a pronounced skew toward well-educated users. 

  • Twitter has begun to lean worryingly toward male users, whereas previously it was a more gender-balanced social network. Pew found that 22% of men use Twitter, while only 15% of women do. 

  • YouTube reaches more adults aged 18 to 34 than any single cable TV network. Nearly half of people in this age group visited YouTube between December 2013 and February 2014, according to Nielsen. It was rated by millennials as the top place to watch content, ahead of digital and TV properties like Facebook and ESPN. 


  • 50% of 30-49 year olds and 58% of 50 – 64 year olds cite television as their preferred main news source. (Source: Gallup)


  • While the youngest age groups are moving away quickly from their local news (nearly 3x as fast or more than other age groups), decent amounts of older demographics still watch local news. 46% of 30-49 year olds and 57% of 50-64 year olds watch local news. (Source: Pew Research Center)