Extreme Recruitment®

About the program:

Extreme Recruitment® is a race to find permanency for youth using 12-20 weeks of intensive recruitment efforts and permanency preparation.

With the help of private detectives and social workers we locate multiple family members and match the child with the one who’s emotionally and logistically ready to open his or her home to a young relative.

Our goal is to find at least two individuals who exist in every family: The informant, who knows almost everything about the child’s family – things like who lives where, who has been married or divorced or imprisoned – and their phone numbers. And the other person could be a cousin, uncle or grandparent who is ready to open his/her heart and home to a young relative.

Melanie Scheetz, Executive Director of Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition of St. Louis, MO founded the program in 2008. She was inspired by the television show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition where hundreds of volunteers and professionals race together to build a house in just a week.

In Extreme Recruitment®, private investigators, recruiters and social workers race together to find a permanent home for a child in a few weeks.

Extreme Recruitment® can benefit any child in foster care because it requires weekly, intensive meetings of the child’s professional team members for 12-20 weeks, focuses on preparing the child for adoption, and continues follow-up until permanancy is achieved.

Extreme Recruitment® works exclusively with the hardest-to-place children: ages 10-18, sibling groups, children of minority status, and youth with emotional, developmental, or behavioral concerns. Extreme Recruitment® can be successful for any child in foster care because it:

  • Requires weekly, intensive meetings of the child’s professional team members for 12-20 weeks
  • Focuses on preparing the youth for adoption, including their mental health and educational needs
  • Exhausts all forms of adoption recruitment
  • Continued follow-up until permanency is achieved

Program Goals

  • Reconnect 85% of youth with a network of safe, appropriate adults
  • Match 70% of youth with an adoptive family

Extreme Recruitment from LINC on Vimeo.


For questions, please contact:

Christal Jones, Family Finding Supervisor

Jessi Williams, 30 Days to Family® Specialist

Debra Stark, Extreme Recruitment® Investigator

Kyle Peek, Extreme Recruitment® Recruiter

Extreme Recruitment® Referral Form