Introduction to Permanency

rlofton's picture

The child's view and the court is very important


SPrimer's picture

While you obviously need to pay attention to, and honor, the federal definition of permanency, it is also important to listen to the youth and their definition of permanency. it is important as foster parents, who are potentially involved in permanency planning, to listen to the child and respect their definition and beliefs regarding permanency. We should be able to (or at least try our best to) advocate for what is in the child's best interests while also respecting the child's wishes regarding permanency.

child's view

jennywrenhen's picture

I think it is most important to see things from a child's POV and what they need and want. The federal definition should be honored, however it is important to remember that this set of guidelines is made in an office by people who are *not* in foster care.


tesk87's picture

I believe it is most important to pay attention to the child's views as most important because each child's situation is different. But federal laws are pretty much one size fits all.


BLAB's picture

Both the federal and youth permanency views are needed. It is important for the child to be heard. They need to feel that their opinion is important
when deciding what their life path should be.


Blair's picture

In my mind the best thing a foster parent can do is to value both highly. For the foster parent to make a commitment to the child and fulfill the government's definition of permanency through adoption, that parent is committed to the youth's well being in every way (relational stability, having a "place" - as well as legally). To me this is the best case scenario for the child who has no other connections.
If this can't happen though, the foster parent hopefully will choose to provide "relational" permanency through continued relationship, including offering the foster youth a "place" in their home.


jillianeliz81's picture

I believe the child is most important but out of respect for the structure that was setup, it must be taken into consideration.


0togo7's picture

As the foster parent advocating for the child, the child's perspective should be on the forefront as you navigate the process together.

Live Long Family

spa4x's picture

I think that DSS, or any child services need to stop pushing so hard for reunification with a bio family. Children spent years waiting for a live long family. And instead they are tossed between homes. Make a game plan, for the bio family. Make it start at day one. If they don't do it, after one year the child can be adopted. Stop making it easier for the bio family to get away with all the hell they've put these children through. Give these kids a chance. No child should have to go through waiting for love, stability, and a family.


SeanL's picture

Both should be taken into consideration. To be moved so many times does not give a child the sense of permanency. Also not saying why becomes heartbreaking. I understand that some information can't be said but we need to hear their answers to why they need a permanent home instead of being moved around so much. Please listen to our youth in care and take it into consideration when youth have to be moved for the fifth or twelfth time.


sfin74's picture

The federal definition should be the minimum standard but the youth's definition should be the suggested guideline. Listen to them when being the process of permanency.

It depends....

PamDV's picture

I think both sides are important, but it is incredibly important to listen to the perspective of the youth.


adevos's picture

The youth should definitely be listened to first and foremost. They are the one's being most affected and if they are not going to be heard, they tend to give up. We are to establish a strong support system for them to succeed and sometimes going purely 'by the book' clouds what is really best for the child.

I believe the youths

ColbyW's picture

I believe the youths definition should be the most important. Because children are human beings and their personal definition of permanence is what will bring them peace. I believe that many times depending on the child those definitions will change and should be respected.


trombonehampton's picture

I really believe the youth's definition is certainly more important as it is vital to helping them grow with a sense of self worth!


Mariah_Rader's picture

I think the child's definition of permanency should be foremost in the decision, as long as the child is of an age and mental capacity to understand the situation. The child will, often times, know what their needs are better than the government will and their needs should be the only thing considered in determining permanency.


Heim3608's picture

I believe the youth's definition is certainly more important as it is vital to helping them grow with a sense of self worth..


epowell's picture

In my opinion the federal regulation is important, but not as important as the kids own voices opinions and concerns. They run good together and beneficial in many ways.


Tistinesissy's picture

I think the federal definition is and important base line and that the opinion of the youth should be valued as a way to build on that definition and provide them with a definition unique to them and their needs.


Ankromfamily1's picture

I think both definitions are important. As foster parents, we need to understand and operate under federal laws and definition, but as advocates for our foster children, we need to ensure their needs and desires are met (or as close as realistically possible). We got into fostering with the ultimate goal of adopting, but understanding that some of the children we foster may go back to their birth parents instead. We know that, if the birth parents can provide a healthy environment for their children, it is in the best interests of everybody if they go back. We are adults and can handle getting our hearrts broken.


JamesWash's picture

The definition provided by the youth will get my attention more than the federal definition since the youth have actually lived through the process. The life experience the youth have to offer to the definition is much more important to me than the federal's textbook definition.


MamaWash's picture

As foster parents, we are to work for what is in the best interest for the children. The best advice comes from someone who has actually been in the situation themself and can speak from experience. Since the youth's definition is based on personal experiences, it carries more weight for me.

Youth Centered Guidelines

raymondclap1's picture

I assume the federal definition has taken into account the feelings and ideas of the youth of a period of time, otherwise, what is the point. Permanency has core components but it's truest definition is subjective to the individual. Listen to what the youth themselves are yearning for. In the end, everyone has their own perspective.


tamullins13's picture

Since the purpose of the feds is to protect, their primary concern is a child's safety, not comfort. Practically speaking, a child's perception will be the most influencing. But it seems reasonable that the best course is to align both definitions


sdclinkscales's picture

I think that as a foster parent that I need to think of both definitions equally. In order to be successful in planning for any permanent situation for my foster children I need to be aware of the laws and the federal definition. Without being aware I could potentially aid in the mis-education of the children as well as get their hopes up for unreasonable things. And that is definitely not something that we would want to do with any of the children in foster care.


linneacnord's picture

It is so important that if we can't, as foster parents, adopt the children in our care that we advocate for them to get into the best situation possible by making sure their wants and needs are heard by adults. Being open and honest with them while making sure to take time to listen to him or her is a vital way to make sure transition to permanent placement is successful.


1voswalt's picture

As a foster parent, you must know what the realistic expectations for permanency will be. However, we are the voice for our children and must know their hopes, dreams and desires when it comes to a permanency placement. We must be willing and able to speak that for them if it is within their best interest. We must know what they want and value in permanency to be able to be that voice. Then, maybe, we can help find an answer that is best for them.


1voswalt's picture

As a foster parent, you must know what the realistic expectations for permanency will be. However, we are the voice for our children and must know their hopes, dreams and desires when it comes to a permanency placement. We must be willing and able to speak that for them if it is within their best interest. We must know what they want and value in permanency to be able to be that voice. Then, maybe, we can help find an answer that is best for them.


1voswalt's picture

As a foster parent, you must know what the realistic expectations for permanency will be. However, we are the voice for our children and must know their hopes, dreams and desires when it comes to a permanency placement. We must be willing and able to speak that for them if it is within their best interest. We must know what they want and value in permanency to be able to be that voice. Then, maybe, we can help find an answer that is best for them.


1moswalt's picture

You have to pay attention to both because the youth is fragile. We must deal with the emotional state of where they are at and where they came from to be able to address their needs. However, as a foster parent, the federal definition is mandated. You must be able to help your child understand, work through, and deal with the expectations that ultimately governs their permanency plan.


Tracy Harmony's picture

I think you have to consider both. As an experienced Foster Mom and presently a Foster to Adopt Mom, the two are simlar yet different. As a foster mom, I rarely ever considered the child's permenancy plan because I funtioned as a supportive, safe envirmonment while the State worked out the particulars. Almost all of our foster placements left our home for other foster homes, facility, group home or aged out. Over the course of 5 years of fostering, I never had a case worker discuss with me the permanacy plan for the child. Maybe in hindsight I would have been more helpful in preparing the child for a move. It was a big secret and the child seemed blindsided everytime. While I was always the best foster home they (child or caseworker) had ever seen, we were not considered or asked if we would be willing to be a viable permanent option for a child with TPR. Now that we are in a Foster to Adopt relationship, my parenting and foster parenting has completely changed. We went from being the best foster home ever, to the real possiblitiy of being their forever home. With that mindset, my foster parenting is more akin to traditonal Mom and Dad parenting. As a foster Mom, I went along with the flow of the case workers decisons and didn't participate in transportation to visits or apointments. As a Foster to Adopt Mom, I am very invested in my children's lives and am willingly to do whatever it takes to ensure their time left in foster care is less impactful on the rest of their lives. If more Foster to Adopt families were identified and provided permanacy planning support, more children stuck in care would find permanancy quicker.


grncarex2's picture

There must be regulations, some type structure in place to guide the process. However, there needs to be input from the very ones most effected by the process. The youth have a right to be heard. Even in divorce cases, around the age of 14 (varies state to state) a child's input is allowed, and in many cases, it's the deciding factor in resolving the issue. We talk of empowering our youth. They need to know their opinion matters, and they will be heard, especially, in an arena where it seems they have been silenced and everyone but them has a right to script their lives for them.


vita's picture

Why do children have to be removed from your home because adoption was not something that you wanted. They should have the right to say where they want to be,not forced to someone they don't know just because to the department they have run out of time. This puts so much trauma on the child and the foster parent.


Q50mcneil's picture

I think foster parents need to pay most attention to the federal definition of permanency because this is a child and the federal government mandates and the status of every child is reviewed every 6 months by a court or administrative review. A permanency planning hearing must be held within 12 months of the date the child enters care, and then every 12 months there after. So its not up to the child and encouraging permanency could be very misleading and could have serious ramifications or emotional distress because the child is a ward of the state, unable to make this decision or care for oneself .


Miriammyers's picture

I think we should pay more attention to the youth's definition. As they become adults, it will mean more to them if they feel like they have a place to call home rather than "did they meet a federal definition". I think it matters more that the child feels loved, safe, people they can depend on, and a place to always com back to. Most children in Forster care probably don't even realize there is a federal definition. I know the one in my care does not.


mhowardjr35's picture

We need to pay attention to the youths definition because they are the ones whose opinion matters. We are trying to create an environment for them to thrive in and what better way than to see what their thoughts on the idea of permanence.

I believe they must both be

gobucks33's picture

I believe they must both be considered. As a Foster Parent, I must know the legal process for adoption, when the child will age out of the system, and what the legal implications of aging out are in order to best help them through that process. However, I must also recognize and acknowledge the child's idea of permanency and ensure I am providing the right support to help them achieve that plan. These children deserve to have a family and a home, but they should have some say in what that looks like.


coultersmom's picture

I think when children are in care they must be protected by the federal law. Then, we must consider the whole child and the wishes of the child should be considered. The law may have to superceed these wishes, but the should be thoughtfully considered.

Whos definition of permanency?

TheJLedQ35's picture

I feel the youths description of permanency holds a little more weight than federal government. I do believe that the federal government needs to have some basic input for safety precautions but overall the youth's description of permanency hold a lot of weight in my mind.


albaughg's picture

I believe it is more important to listen to the youth's definition. The federal definition is something that is derived from lawyers and has the legal jargon that muddies up what is really behind the means of the definition - what the youth's feelings and emotions. To understand what is really behind the meaning of permanency, you have to take the explanation from those who it directly effects - youth.


rick2214's picture

Prior to being a foster parent to a newborn I would say the federal definition due to giving the bilogical mother, father time to do what was needed to obtain reunification but as I have lived and send the permancy word tossed around for almost three years( which is how long my daughter (foster) have been in my care) and experience how social services, child advocate lawyers and the court system uses it as a crutch, I now understand that we should be looking at permancy through the eyes of the youth because in reality this is the person that is affected emotionally, socially and physically for actions in most cases are not of their control but they suffer the consequences.


spedteacher828's picture

Permanence is something that shouldn't be taken lightly, but also something that shouldn't be prolonged. Children shouldn't be part of the system for 10-12 years, moving from home to home. How is that in their best interest? How are they to develop family skills? Why are so many kids being adopted after they aged out of the system? Something isn't right and this still needs to be fixed. I have personally seen too much of this.

Youth vs. Feds

davidgregor's picture

I think the question is a little misdirected.

As a foster parent, my goal is to provide a permanent place in my home and my heart to the children that come through my doors.I have to be open to the pain and uncertainty that the kids are going through.

For some of my kids, they have accepted and embraced a permanent place in the family. For some, they have rejected a place. And, there is one still trying to figure out if they will accept permanence.

My job is to make sure that permanence is offered - no matter how the feds define it, and no matter if the kids accept it or not.

So, I tell my kids all the time, that we love them, and they are part of our family (even if they don't want to hear it!)

Voice of permanancy

Vendy's picture

The youth's voice on permanence is most important. t least the Ferderal now is beginning to realize the importance of it.

In case the answer I gave

CandTW's picture

In case the answer I gave shows up, I will summarize. As for the letter of the law when applying that it is important but the most importance should be on the children and their importance should be at the heart of the law and their words should be the most important when amending anything on this matter. (Also if the law could stop allowing benefits to be reduced upon adoption that would help tremendously in the matter of this form of permanence too.Don't punish them for finding a forever home,)

I think a youth's perspective

Managsd's picture

I think a youth's perspective should be given at least equal weight

Federal and Youth Permanence

rmartinez's picture

The law should guide how we think about permanence. However, the youth definition permanence should influence how we use the definition. Foster parents must be able to give a voice to youth and see to it that they are happy.


1Overcame's picture

Foster parents are guided by Federal and state employees to ensure they comply with Federal regulations and guidelines. Yet they have to choose each day to provide stability and permanence for the children in their care. A balance of both is needed, providing the child with the very best outcome.


deybarry01's picture

You have to pay attention to the law as well as to the youth. In the end you have to be the voice of the child sharing what they feel they need for the future.

Federal vs Youth

christirooroo's picture

Of course the federal definition is important; however, my number one concern is for the child. It is very important to listen to them and help them through the process as best I can. At this point in their lives, this might be the only time they have had an actual voice.