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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Just $24.95 for 1 year subscription per parent (unlimited access to courses for one year).

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Course Discussion

tweety9792013's picture

tweety9792013 replied:

Both are important. The child's voice should never be ignored.
Teamgile90's picture

Teamgile90 said:

I believe we need to follow the laws set out for permanency. But at the same time, listen to the children that are in our care. They need to have a voice, no matter what age. Not that they always know what is best for them. But they should still be heard. Laws are there for a reason and must be followed.
teamgile's picture

teamgile said:

Although it is hard at times, we are required by law to adhere to the rules of permanency. I believe we should allow the child to be heard though, no matter what the age. They have thoughts and ideas and even thought they may not be the best or coming from a place of truly knowing their circumstances, they should still be heard. Bottom line, we need to adhere to permanency regulations.
nathanhall22's picture

nathanhall22 said:

We are required to pay attention to the federal definition of permanency because this is what the courts follow and adhere to; although, we have a duty to remember the best interest of the children living in our home. If they have a reasonable explanation for their desires for permanency in any way, that should be respected and highly considered by case workers, the court, and the foster parents.
Heidiliz77's picture

Heidiliz77 said:

I agree with many of the comments stated above. I think we must know and adhere to the federal law at a minimum. But also, listen to and respect the desires and definitions of the youth in care.
katelynhall22's picture

katelynhall22 said:

I think it is critical to keep both definitions in mind when considering permanency. There are many reasons for considering both: although, I think a few are of importance to highlight. We must keep the child's view of permanency in mind because it is the life that they will have to live with. These children are forced to live with the decisions of others- bio parents, judges, recommendations. Their stability is of importance, and when they believe they have achieved permanency, that should be taken into strong consideration. However, the law is intended to be evidence-based. It is uniform and provides structure in guiding cases. A framework is important for consistency.
snicholas's picture

snicholas said:

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

snicholas 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.
SGRIER's picture

SGRIER said:

It saddens me that we should listen to the federal side, because in the end thats what dictates the outcome for the children. This is especially concerning for the kids who are too young to speak for themselves, and the past speaks volumes. It is a struggle for me to understand how reunification in my mind shoud not be an option in some cases but is very much a reality. Children that are too young to speak are at a disadvantage and sometimes need to be rescued from the whole family. It seems to me that if the family has custody, they will in some form be exposed to the parent that was not able to care for these children in a proper manner. Just seeing the parent can cause trauma. Not all parents rights need to be terminated but permanency seems to attempt to make it possible for some children to reunify with parents that dont deserve as well. I know its their job in the end. My concern is what happens after reunification.
katelynhall22's picture

katelynhall22 replied:

I agree, and it's hard to figure out how to appropriately voice my concerns without being pegged as biased.