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

lancedoze's picture

lancedoze said:

Family...unconditional LOVE...
KGillespie's picture

KGillespie said:

Having a place to go to no matter what happens or is going on in life that will always welcome you.
Wilma Byrd's picture

Wilma Byrd said:

Permanency for the child and parent, always having each other, always being a family no matter what.
Saleemah815's picture

Saleemah815 said:

I would explain it as since I am their mothers sister, it is my job as their aunt to step in and take care of them until their mom is in a position to do so herself.
Jay Summers's picture

Jay Summers said:

A place you can call home where you feel you belong as a part of that family.
Faith2017's picture

Faith2017 said:

Permanence is the feeling of belonging to a family that will support you throughout your life.
BevSummers's picture

BevSummers said:

I would describe permanency to my foster children as a sense of belonging with unconditional love that is pure.
amysweaver's picture

amysweaver said:

Permanence can be relational and/or legal. It is a never ending connection where a child feels trust, safe, love, stability, wanted forever.
FosterPandNurse's picture

FosterPandNurse said:

Permanence is a sense of complete security, unconditional love, and belonging. A place to call home, a place that will always be there when you have no where to go or you're looking for help. Permanence is associated with trust, and bonds that cannot be broken.
mslessinger's picture

mslessinger said:

It means forever. Forever a bond, commitment, love, etc.