Credit hours:
3.00

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

Joe Nichols's picture

Joe Nichols said:

My foster daughter is a toddler so i would describe permancy as never having to leave and being apart of our forever family.
tiamnichols's picture

tiamnichols said:

My foster youth is 2 years old so I would describe permanency to her as being in a forever family.
ssrieske's picture

ssrieske said:

Age based, I'm always here for you, you can always reach out, call; you are welcome here
swashington12's picture

swashington12 said:

INTRODUCING PERMANENCY SHOULD BE TALK ABOUT CLOSE TO AGE APPROPRIATE TEACHING SKILLS, LESSON PLANS, IF THE CHILD IS LEAVING THE HOME LET THEM KNOW, THIS ISN'T GOOD BYE I'M HERE IF YOU NEED ME, STAY IN TOUCH, REMEMBER BIRTHDAYS, STAY IN TOUCH, IF THEY NEED HELP IN SOME WAY LET KNOW YOUR THERE FOR THEM. LIFE TIME FRIENDS IF THAT'S POSSIBLE
TrishWhite13's picture

TrishWhite13 said:

Thank you for this course. It was very informative.
merollba's picture

merollba said:

enjoyed the material here relating to permanency. helpful throughs and information regarding the importance of building and maintaining permanent connections for foster youth. Also, liked the strategic plan and checklist that helps guide supportive adults and caregivers in helping to establish those relationships.
fkoonce's picture

fkoonce said:

COMPLETED READING ALL OF THIS COURSE ON pERMANENCY. dID NOT GIVE HOURS CREDIT,
josehunter's picture

josehunter said:

Permanence may not work for every child, this conversation should take place with every child in the foster system. The child must have a voice in this decision to make sure that the correct action is taken in helping make this critical life decision.
Janieb814's picture

Janieb814 said:

The discussion of permanence should take place on an age-appropriate basis. Younger children really don't understand/comprehend what adoption or permanence means. You can explain it to them and they just can't seem to wrap their little hearts and minds around it. For older youth, they most definitely can understand permanence, although, they may not believe it's something they can ever achieve. Youth should always be involved in their plan for permanence. I think it's very important to get the youth's opinion/desire to see if they even want to be adopted. Some youth will want a fresh start at forever, while others may want to just wait it out in the system until they can reunite with their birth family on their own terms. I think it is very important to sit down and discuss all the pros and cons of permanence with the youth and have them be involved in the decision. Discussion on permanence is not just a one time thing either, it should be multiple discussions over a period of time to decide if being part of the family is what they truly want and what is best for them.
Micaht333's picture

Micaht333 said:

Having supportive and loving adults around that care for you no matter what is important. So we need to discuss a plan and share it with those that genuinely want to support you in your endeavors and through your independent living.