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

Nataki41's picture

Nataki41 said:

Permanency means a lifelong commitment to the child from the adoptive or foster family.
joshuamci's picture

joshuamci said:

Permanence is creating a lifelong emotional bond and basis of trust and support.
lrarlm's picture

lrarlm said:

Permanence is having the emotional connections you need from your family, friends, and community.
lraram's picture

lraram said:

permanence is a sense of belonging that all people--no matter where they come from--deserve within their family and society.
tadisney's picture

tadisney said:

family that is there for you no matter what.
Laberge301's picture

Laberge301 said:

Permance means that We will always be there to guide, support and love you no matter what.
jkatkinson's picture

jkatkinson said:

We would explain permanence as the next steps in their journey and that if they would like, we will continue to be apart of their lives.
rlatkinson's picture

rlatkinson said:

I’d ask him/her what permanence meant to them. We would build upon his/her definition or perception, explaining in age-appropriate language more in-depth.
vmburk's picture

vmburk said:

Permanence is someone who is there for you for your whole life-holidays birthdays everything!
dreeves's picture

dreeves said:

a forever family with unconditional love support and patience a warm home with lots fun times making memories