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

michelle1371's picture

michelle1371 said:

We have to remember that the foster child/adolescent must choose their permanent adult.
mmiester's picture

mmiester said:

Permanency ought to be a right for every kid - that sense of belonging is crucial for any human being.
tracey's picture

tracey said:

I would describe permanence as not just a family forever, but an unconditional support system to count on even when you are no longer living in their home
ashley_062902's picture

ashley_062902 said:

I would explain permanence to my foster child as unconditional and forever stability, love, acceptance, and support. Permanence should take away the fear of starting over!
gdmj0311's picture

gdmj0311 said:

the permanency plan sounds like a very positive program for aged out foster kids. unfortunately in today's age so many aged out kids get turned out and forgotten. it is awesome to know there is a support program like this in place to help with the success of aged out foster kids.
casjo1998's picture

casjo1998 said:

Permanency is a home that you belong in and you are able to be stable in, Family who will protect you and keep you safe through your tough times, it doesn't have to be blood or your actual close family members, it is someone, that specific person who cares and loves for you no matter what, you may be a different race, different blood, Friend, but if it is someone you known or taken care of they will always be your family.
RobinJackson's picture

RobinJackson said:

I would tell them that permanence is not just a a safe haven, but a family, a rock, and a place they can go to, no matter what, without judgement. For they are human, just as we all are, and we make mistakes as well as go through bad times. They will know they can come to me for anything and everything.
Stevenm27's picture

Stevenm27 said:

Permanence is providing a safe and stable environment for youth, no matter what happens.
cmoore719's picture

cmoore719 said:

I would describe permanence as not just a family forever, but an unconditional support system to count on even when you are no longer living in their home.
macklen's picture

macklen said:

When you have Someone/ Family in life forever..