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

chessieberg's picture

chessieberg replied:

I love this description.
cbehney52's picture

cbehney52 said:

I would tell them that permanency means unconditional love from someone even if they are not a bio parent. That nothing they say or do could change the love we have for them and the fact that we will always claim the as our own and they will always have a place to come back to provided their actions aren't endangering their life or someone else life in the home. If their actions are life endangering I would let them know I would do anything in my power to help them get help. If they refuse all my help than their is not much you can do for someone who doesn't want to help until they are ready. In which case I would make it clear that as soon as they wanted help to humble themselves and change for the better they would be welcomed with open arms. The prodigal son was welcomed home, that doesn't mean the father allowed him to carry on his destructive habits. To repent means to turn away and go another direction, not just say sorry.
Demetria Johnson's picture

Demetria Johnson said:

The people you know have surrounded you to be there through all life comes at you with. The reliable ones are permanently there to have your back for all you need food shelter listening sharing caring.
jhiers's picture

jhiers said:

permanence means stability for life
ddwalters's picture

ddwalters said:

Permanence, to me, means always having a "home". I don't necessarily mean a physical home, but a place, in the "these are MY people" sense, where your heart belongs. Where everybody knows your name...and they're always glad you came! :p
nicolewalters's picture

nicolewalters said:

“Permanence” means having a relationship that will not be broken, one that is forgiving, accepting, works through problems, and celebrates successes.
delores.denny's picture

delores.denny said:

I explain to my foster kids as having a forever home and family.
Pennywin's picture

Pennywin said:

someone you ca trust and rely on to help you do life
GooberDad's picture

GooberDad said:

A plan for their future
jesikad01's picture

jesikad01 said:

security, loves, stability, family.