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

Chewfam3's picture

Chewfam3 said:

Is a life long commitment to always be there in good, or in struggling times, someone that always will be there thrue child /adult hood . It's a home to go to for holidays , or when times are hard , it's having someone to call for advice or help with a search for an apartment , employment , help with health , how to manage a home , finances , help babysit when they have children of their own eventually , and the list goes on . Someone that will never stop loving them and never gives up on them
AmyWhiteside's picture

AmyWhiteside said:

Forever family that will always be there for you no matter what may happen in this life
wlalonde's picture

wlalonde said:

Explain to them that we are always there for them no matter what!
Hwiinpunch's picture

Hwiinpunch said:

It's where you feel that you belong, with people you can trust that will be there for you.
keslarzmom's picture

keslarzmom replied:

Agreed. They need someone who won't give up on them. Someone who will love and support them. No matter what happens along the way.
Lsmalls's picture

Lsmalls said:

I would tell the child or young adult, that I am there for them, I would assure them that every effort on their success will be a joint effort between them and I and all the resource that I can get as well as provide. I would walk them threw everything that's is need for their success. And all be honest with them.
Melgoza626's picture

Melgoza626 said:

i believe permanency is a beautiful thing it means that a child has found its rightful family and no longer needs to be on the move to me a child is established.
drwatt23's picture

drwatt23 said:

I like this concept. Everyone even adults need to feel they have someone they can go to.Not just for a season but when ever life struggles show its face. A strong support system helps us all.
CandTW's picture

CandTW said:

I love the idea of the youth choosing the adults for their permanency pact. So much is outside of our realm of control, but we know in whom we find permanency. They are the people who love us with a healthy love that shows us that we make mistakes, but we are not a mistake. They are the people who will feed us or clothe us when we are struggling , who will lend an ear when we need a listener or open their arms and hold us when only tears will explain all that is inside our heart. They also will sew up their advice inside a package they know we will open because they know us, love us and want what is best for us in the long run of life.
Michael1951's picture

Michael1951 said:

Permanency is a bound for life. No matter what happens. Good and bad. You don't let go