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 your foster youth towards building and strengthening relationships with supportive people in their life.

In this course, you can expect to learn:

  • The importance of permanency in the life of a foster youth
  • How young people in foster care think about permanency
  • The different types of permanent relationships and understand their roles
  • 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
  • Permanency comes with responsibility from all people involved – including the youth

Step 1

Watch the video, What Does Permanency Mean?, developed by Nebraska Children and Families Foundation to gain insight into what permanency means to foster youth:

Step 2

Review the Associate Commissioner of the Children’s Bureau’s interview regarding permanency with a FosterClub Young Leader - Amber Finet - from the Children’s Bureau Express.

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 an 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?

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Course Discussion

Katchick's picture

Katchick said:

Help each child to know they are important and show them that they have rights and that i will always be there for them's picture said:

A family that gives the foster child stability.'s picture

renitamallory@g... said:

I would explain permanency as a family you can depend on regardless of age or circumstances.
Kphillips's picture

Kphillips said:

I would explain permanence as a feeling of belonging. It is when you know you have someone to depend on and except you no matter what.
Sandra1959's picture

Sandra1959 said:

Permanence I just means security support someone who won’t turn there back on you and truly want to help and hav eyour best interest at heart
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.