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

alex.wallace's picture

alex.wallace said:

Permanence is dependability, a feeling of belonging, knowing that you have someone that will always be there for you even when it's hard.
PetraMiller's picture

PetraMiller said:

Permancy means that I will always be there for you, no matter what. You might not like what you get from me because it won't always be warm cookies and happy holidays. Sometimes it will be the advice you don't want to hear or being held accountable for your choices, but I will always be there for you. I will always have a hug for you. I will never stop loving you.
timross123's picture

timross123 said:

Permanency is unconditional commitment and love. It is a family and support system that will support you forever.
MBRLMR's picture

MBRLMR said:

I would tell them that no matter what happens in their journey of life that they would always have us to lean on rather it be helping with home work sending them to college answering all their questions baby sitting if they need someone. Tell them they better come for all the Holidays no exceptions lol. Love them unconditionally
riverreines's picture

riverreines said:

permanency is forever, unconditional love and support
Stalicake's picture

Stalicake said:

Permanency is knowing where you fit and belong, and knowing that it will be there for you, no matter what.
armymanbernsgirl's picture

armymanbernsgirl said:

I would tell them that permanency is very important . I would be there for them, to help them in life after school and foster care. All children need stability and the feeling of family. They need to feel that you are there for them no matter what happens. That you love them unconditionally. They need to know that they matter and are special.
Susan.Peveler's picture

Susan.Peveler said:

Everyone needs a home to come to in hard times and for celebrations. We are striving to be that home for a former foster child of ours who left at 18, thinking she was grown and then came back a few months later, asking for help. It has been a year now and she is currently attending family vacations and asking for help with legal documents to move forward in her life goals. One of the most challenging things about it is that we had to be patient and wait for her to CHOOSE this path. We are grateful that she has and that we can offer the permanent family she deserves.
aholroyde's picture

aholroyde said:

I would describe it as a right for them to feel heard, and a sense of belonging and that they would feel safe without judgement.
aliholroyde's picture

aliholroyde said:

I would describe permanence as unconditional love, support and continued encouragement, even when they may not be your forever family or you may no longer living in the home.