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

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..
Sarahml's picture

Sarahml said:

Is the feeling that someone always has your back and you can count on them during a tough time. That someone cares for you no matter what!
lucksc's picture

lucksc said:

Permanence is knowing that you belong to a family. That you're wanted by and always welcomed by that family. It's celebrating the joys and successes of life as well as leaning on them through trials and tribulations. It's basically an understanding that we're in this together....always.
LCarcuffe's picture

LCarcuffe said:

Being accepted for yourself, feeling safe, secure, loved and wanted. A feeling of belonging.
Lisakyle17's picture

Lisakyle17 said:

it means never ending love, a forever home and a forever family