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

maytammy's picture

maytammy said:

Forever having your back's picture

kyleeann6868@gm... said:

I would explain permanence to my foster youth as support for their success and the committment for a lifetime. That could be elaborated on with examples of support through the passing on of knowledge (banking practices, financial education, how to apply for a car loan, build credit, etc), providing a safe space for routine activities and conversations (a place to spend the night even when they are an adult and need it, place to do laundry, someone to help with cooking and healthy grocery shopping,etc), and ways to promote success in their own future (related to college, buying a home, raising a child, finding a career).
Jeanne's picture

Jeanne said:

I agree that have some one permanent in your life is important , and can be scary for the Foster youth as well as the Adult taking on the responsibility because of wondering if we will be doing it well enough to help make a difference in their life.
DHedge's picture

DHedge said:

a forever person
Packh34's picture

Packh34 said:

krankykat07's picture

krankykat07 said:

Nice format
Aabeyta's picture

Aabeyta said:

It’s a knowing that this adult you have permanence with is here for you and has your back. You can call them when you have questions. You can call them when you need help. You can call them just to talk. It’s a home for the holidays and the door is always open.
apriljackson11's picture

apriljackson11 said:

I will take the form of and relationship with all children of all ages because permanece that is to defined in and statutory guidance that accompanies for the children to provide the children with a senses of and home that wI will have for them and support them in the right way.
JoMorris's picture

JoMorris said:

It's a document that lets the young adult know that they are not alone in life and that they have people who care about them and support them.
cmorris50's picture

cmorris50 said:

It's knowing that you have someone to rely on as you go through life.