Credit hours:

Course Summary

This course is designed to help foster parents and caregivers understand and support permanency for foster youth. In this course you will learn that permanency comes in many different shapes and sizes, and that different people can provide different types of permanency for foster youth. FosterClub believes permanence is vital to a youth in and from care's success in life, and that foster parents can play a vital role in this helping youth establish this.

In this course, you can expect to learn:

  • The federal definition of permanency

  • Statistics for permanency outcomes

  • Your role in helping children and youth establish permanence

  • Youth perspective about permanence

  • Build skills to speak to children and youth about permanence

Step 1

Read this FosterClub Real Story written by Aaron Weaver explaining how achieving permanency can make a significant contribution to a young person’s time spent in care.

Step 2

Read "Permanency: More Than Just Homes." The article was written for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteers, and contains relevant and valuable information for foster parents and caregivers

Step 3

Read pages 1-5 of "Court Hearings for the Permanent Placement of Children" from the Child Welfare Information Gateway.

Step 4

Review the National Foster Youth Advisory Council's (NFYAC), a group of young leaders who have experienced foster care, top ten recommendations for Ensuring Permanency for Youth in the Foster Care.

Step 5

Young people have a need for permanence even after they leave foster care. Read the blog "You Don't Age Out of Family" written by Julia Charles, a FosterClub Lived Experience Leader.

Step 6

Read this FosterClub Real Story by Aleks Talsky about the importance of educating young people on their permanency options and allowing them agency to determine their own permanency plan.

Step 7

Join the discussion in the comments below to answer the following question:

What actions will you take to ensure children and youth in your care have an active role in their own permanency plans?

Step 8

Finished the module? If you are logged in as a subscribed user, take the quiz to earn your Continuing Education Credit hours and certificate!

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Course Discussion

SPrimer's picture

SPrimer said:

While you obviously need to pay attention to, and honor, the federal definition of permanency, it is also important to listen to the youth and their definition of permanency. it is important as foster parents, who are potentially involved in permanency planning, to listen to the child and respect their definition and beliefs regarding permanency. We should be able to (or at least try our best to) advocate for what is in the child's best interests while also respecting the child's wishes regarding permanency.
jennywrenhen's picture

jennywrenhen said:

I think it is most important to see things from a child's POV and what they need and want. The federal definition should be honored, however it is important to remember that this set of guidelines is made in an office by people who are *not* in foster care.
tesk87's picture

tesk87 said:

I believe it is most important to pay attention to the child's views as most important because each child's situation is different. But federal laws are pretty much one size fits all.
BLAB's picture

BLAB said:

Both the federal and youth permanency views are needed. It is important for the child to be heard. They need to feel that their opinion is important when deciding what their life path should be.
Blair's picture

Blair said:

In my mind the best thing a foster parent can do is to value both highly. For the foster parent to make a commitment to the child and fulfill the government's definition of permanency through adoption, that parent is committed to the youth's well being in every way (relational stability, having a "place" - as well as legally). To me this is the best case scenario for the child who has no other connections. If this can't happen though, the foster parent hopefully will choose to provide "relational" permanency through continued relationship, including offering the foster youth a "place" in their home.
jillianeliz81's picture

jillianeliz81 said:

I believe the child is most important but out of respect for the structure that was setup, it must be taken into consideration.
0togo7's picture

0togo7 said:

As the foster parent advocating for the child, the child's perspective should be on the forefront as you navigate the process together.
spa4x's picture

spa4x said:

I think that DSS, or any child services need to stop pushing so hard for reunification with a bio family. Children spent years waiting for a live long family. And instead they are tossed between homes. Make a game plan, for the bio family. Make it start at day one. If they don't do it, after one year the child can be adopted. Stop making it easier for the bio family to get away with all the hell they've put these children through. Give these kids a chance. No child should have to go through waiting for love, stability, and a family.
SeanL's picture

SeanL said:

Both should be taken into consideration. To be moved so many times does not give a child the sense of permanency. Also not saying why becomes heartbreaking. I understand that some information can't be said but we need to hear their answers to why they need a permanent home instead of being moved around so much. Please listen to our youth in care and take it into consideration when youth have to be moved for the fifth or twelfth time.
sfin74's picture

sfin74 said:

The federal definition should be the minimum standard but the youth's definition should be the suggested guideline. Listen to them when being the process of permanency.