Credit hours:
3.00

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

Hear Brondalyn share her views on the importance of having emotional connections to foster family, friends and community supports.

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

chessieberg's picture

chessieberg said:

With my husband being a teacher and myself a speech therapist, we have encountered one or two teens who either have been in foster care previously or currently who would truly benefit from “the permancy pact.” I would explain it to these children as support for life, help with the big and little things of adulthood, always having a place to call home, and knowing there is someone there to guide you and love you no matter what. I would explain to them that permanence can mean picking up the phone to ask how to fill out a tax form, which kind of oil to put in a vehicle, Little tips for caring for their own children, or even which recipe to use for a meal. Anything one would do for their biological child would be the same in permanence. It is a beautiful connection.
Danielle Paul James's picture

Danielle Paul James said:

Permanence is having someone you can rely on for the rest of your life. This can be legally, emotionally, or (preferably) both.
FaireyCertificationTrainingHours's picture

FaireyCertifica... said:

I would explain that it means we are forever a part of your life. We are willing to be there for you, with you and behind you every step of your journey. Our bond is not temporary, disposable or time limited. As long as you need us and even when you may think you don't, permanency persists. You can never undo with behaviors or distance what we have established together.
chessieberg's picture

chessieberg replied:

I love this description.
cbehney52's picture

cbehney52 said:

I would tell them that permanency means unconditional love from someone even if they are not a bio parent. That nothing they say or do could change the love we have for them and the fact that we will always claim the as our own and they will always have a place to come back to provided their actions aren't endangering their life or someone else life in the home. If their actions are life endangering I would let them know I would do anything in my power to help them get help. If they refuse all my help than their is not much you can do for someone who doesn't want to help until they are ready. In which case I would make it clear that as soon as they wanted help to humble themselves and change for the better they would be welcomed with open arms. The prodigal son was welcomed home, that doesn't mean the father allowed him to carry on his destructive habits. To repent means to turn away and go another direction, not just say sorry.
Demetria Johnson's picture

Demetria Johnson said:

The people you know have surrounded you to be there through all life comes at you with. The reliable ones are permanently there to have your back for all you need food shelter listening sharing caring.
jhiers's picture

jhiers said:

permanence means stability for life
ddwalters's picture

ddwalters said:

Permanence, to me, means always having a "home". I don't necessarily mean a physical home, but a place, in the "these are MY people" sense, where your heart belongs. Where everybody knows your name...and they're always glad you came! :p
nicolewalters's picture

nicolewalters said:

“Permanence” means having a relationship that will not be broken, one that is forgiving, accepting, works through problems, and celebrates successes.
delores.denny's picture

delores.denny said:

I explain to my foster kids as having a forever home and family.