Credit hours:

Course Summary

For a young person in foster care, having permanence means stability and reliable, supportive lifelong connections. All youth in foster care need it. Understanding permanency and the Permanency Pact described in this course can give you confidence as you guide youth in your care towards building and strengthening relationships with supportive people in their life.

In this course, you can expect to learn:

  • The importance of permanency for youth in care

  • How young people in foster care think about permanency

  • The different types of permanent relationships and their roles in the lives of youth in care

  • The difference between positive and negative supports

  • Several ways a transitioning youth could benefit from the support of an adult

  • How to brainstorm a list of prospective Permanency Pact adults

  • How to access and create a Permanency Pact

  • The importance of understanding that permanency comes with responsibility from all people involved – including youth

Step 1

Watch the video "What Does Permanency Mean?" developed by Nebraska Children and Families Foundation to better understand what permanency means to foster youth.

Step 2

Meet the Lived Experience Leaders involved in the ACF’s All-In Youth Engagement Team, and learn from their expertise about what they would like to see for permanency in the foster care system.  Then review the All-In Youth Engagement Team’s  Recommendations for Improving Permanency and Well-Being.

Step 3

Review the FosterClub Permanency Pact. The Pact is designed to help foster youth identify supportive adult connections which will continue to provide positive supports through and beyond the transition from care. As a foster parent, you can introduce a young person to this tool and help them identify those continuing supports in an effort to build a strong support network.

Step 4

Watch and read how the Juvenile Law Center in Pennsylvania and its "Youth Fostering Change" program developed a "youth-perspective" toolkit for child welfare professionals that helps youth in care achieve permanency. 

Step 5

Review the following post written about the Permanency Pact by Independent Living Outreach Specialist at Children’s Aid Society Ebone Watkins.

Step 6

Review the article "Legal and Relational Permanence in Older Foster Care Youths" from Social Work Today.

Step 7

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

How would you explain permanence to your foster youth?

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

curleymurphy's picture

curleymurphy said:

Permanency is a feeling between two individuals, blood or not, where you know that you have that person in your corner unconditionally. That person is their for you in the long run, and will support you offering stability, support, and love. Having only had small children in my home, this was eye opening. Delving deeper and thinking from the child's perspective and meeting their needs and not just checking the box.
acrosst's picture

acrosst said:

Permanency is having unconditional love, always.
SLBowman's picture

SLBowman said:

If I were the supportive adult, I would explain "Permanency" to my "Youth" as a family bond without the bloodline. It's the thing we all need, that sometimes we don't think we need. It's having someone who loves you, supports your dreams, encourages your visions, holds your hand, and guides you when you have no direction. IT'S THE I'M HERE FOR YOU, FOREVER!!!!
Caroline Miner's picture

Caroline Miner said:

Permanence means having someone in your corner forever. Doesn't matter if we are legally related. I will be there for you.
melissakh's picture

melissakh said:

Permanency is the security of having a "forever family" that will be there for you, no matter how the circumstances may change. Having someone to love and care for you, no matter what.
juliawildman's picture

juliawildman said:

Permanence means having someone forever. Just like a biological family.
castledwight's picture

castledwight said:

Permanence is offering a secure and stable home, lifestyle, and environment for a child no matter what happens. Everyone wants to feel loved and accepted even when things get difficult and the prospect of permanence offers that hope.
stephcastle's picture

stephcastle said:

Permanence is a commitment to be there for someone through all of life. It gives youth the security to make choices not based on fear or distrust. It is providing a lifelong place of refuge for someone.
Capt Vegetable's picture

Capt Vegetable said:

Permanence is a sense of belonging, commitment and loving support. Permanence means that one would not have to doubt support. Every time I participate in a course like this, I have the thought that all parents, youth workers, teachers, et. al. should be having conversations like this. While it might be more needed for youth in the foster system, permanence is something from which all youth can benefit.
EmDHall's picture

EmDHall said:

Permanency is a permanent sense of belonging that, even if it morphs and changes, will never dissolve.