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

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.
Ryguythesciguy's picture

Ryguythesciguy said:

It's the opportunity to not wonder who to turn to but to know you always have someone there for you.
KimmersA8's picture

KimmersA8 said:

Permanency is the opportunity to create bonds in life that will always be there.
BigDaddyDan's picture

BigDaddyDan said:

I would explain it as being long term parenting and support to them and make sure that they know that their parents will still be involved in their lives.
jvasile's picture

jvasile said:

Having that one person to lean on is important. Major milestones such as marriage, pregnancy, parenthood, buying a house, doing taxes, career. etc all can be challenging and scary. Having an adult who has been through these major milestones can be there for that child to answer questions and be a guide. The special adult also can be there in those moment to just be happy and proud of them for their achievements. Having someone who loves you unconditionally is most important to the foster youth in today's society.
MrsP's picture

MrsP said:

Permanency is the answer to a very big question for a foster youth. Where do I belong? Where am I going? Will I be moved again? Who's my family? It's not perfect, but it can be something solid in a messy situation. For our little guy, it is a safe home full of love for him for as long as he needs it.
jpolanis's picture

jpolanis said:

Permanency is when a child has a stable home. The child feels like they belong there and have a place to come home to. It is important that the child has a trusted adult to come to for advice and support.
MicahMcreid's picture

MicahMcreid said:

Permanence is the knowledge that you belong to a close-knit family group who will be there for you no matter what may come.