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

kmbogue's picture

kmbogue said:

In my opinion, foster parents need to take it upon themselves to understand how permanency is defined at the federal and state level as well as by the youth and the youths team. This can make a world of difference to ensure the implicit is explicit and can lead to important discussions.
rhiannon's picture

rhiannon said:

I believe foster parents need to pay attention to both federal definition of permanency and the youths' definition. You need to know all the aspects of the fostering system and to make sure the voices are heard from the youths' side since we are their best advocate.
GenB's picture

GenB said:

I think more weight needs to be given to what a child needs or what is in the child’s best interest vs complying with a governmental ruling which may are may not be appropriate for that child’s situation.
srtilton's picture

srtilton said:

An either or question. I care about the children in my home to be there as long as they want, need, and be loved. I expect them to be as permanent as possible.
vcox's picture

vcox said:

It's extremely important to listen to the thoughts and needs of foster youth.
MicahMcreid's picture

MicahMcreid said:

Naturally, foster parents need to pay attention to all legal definitions of permanency as they may be applicable to their foster child. But it is also clear that the child's own definition and understanding of permanency needs to be taken into consideration. Unfortunately, it is possible that a foster child's own expectation of permanency is unachievable. Providing a sense of stability and belonging is vital to their well-being.
jmangen1974's picture

jmangen1974 said:

I think it's important to pay attention to everything as a foster parent. We are an advocate for the children but at the same time need to know the laws and policies to effectively help the children.
FoyIsabelle's picture

FoyIsabelle said:

It's important to have an understanding of permanency in both regards. As a foster parent, you need to be familiarized with the law while also taking the child's needs into consideration.
ShaynaLazar's picture

ShaynaLazar said:

I believe that foster parents should definitely pay attention to the federal definition of importance, but I believe the youths definition is a little more important. The youth are the ones experiencing these things first hand and know how to explain it the best. No one will understand but them what they are truly going through. It is important that we listen and let the youth know that we hear them.
KMorse19's picture

KMorse19 said:

The county, state and federal definition is always going to trump that of a child. Support the child and try to advocate for them.