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

Monica Little's picture

Monica Little said:

In our family it's a wolf pack. Each member is important and has a role to make the family work.
Monica Little's picture

Monica Little said:

In our family it's a wolf pack. Each member is important and has a role to make the family work.
beks1375's picture

beks1375 said:

I would explain permanence to them as a way of becoming a part of their village. I would explain to them that permanence will allow them the space to have relationship with the people that they care about and still have a place to call home. I would reassure them that I am not replacing anyone in their life but just being an additional person that they can trust and depend on no matter what life may bring.
Aedmond's picture

Aedmond said:

I myself let everyone that comes through my door know I'm here for them for ever.
StephAnne's picture

StephAnne said:

I think the problem around permeance isn't that people give up on the kids, they give up on the system and the kids are the ones who suffer. It's easy to say we'll be there for kids even when not placed with us and we mean it but it becomes too easy for people to lose contact and kids become disillusioned.
EllenArwen's picture

EllenArwen said:

I am someone they can count on to be there for them whenever needed for whatever they need.
Rmatthews's picture

Rmatthews said:

That I will support them even when they are out of care.
G.Brown's picture

G.Brown said:

Ill always be there to support you in or out of care
ShaaleenAP's picture

ShaaleenAP said:

I will always let them know I am here for them.
rhiannon's picture

rhiannon said:

I would explain permanence to my foster kids as they will always have a place with me no matter what and I will always be here for them.