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

makaylaoney.13's picture

makaylaoney.13 said:

I think this training was really eye opening about the struggles faced by teens and young adults who have aged our or who are aging out of foster care. These articles were also really informational regarding how you can help with supporting these individuals and identifying resources for them also. I liked the idea of the permanency pact because it is something that the teens and young adults can use as a tool to help cope with the trauma and anxiety of feeling alone and like nobody has your back. I think that it's a great way to create a support system and also hep the youth reach their goals when it comes to transitioning.
Ronald Craig Huckaby's picture

Ronald Craig Huckaby said:

I would tell the children that permanency was much more than a name change and a place to call home. But it would be a lifelong support system for helping them to become productive and law abiding citizens, and citizens who would love their own children and raise them properly. It would be a family to be a part of and to share joy and pain.
Abby.Pinyerd's picture

Abby.Pinyerd said:

As a parent, permanency is a life long commitment to providing unconditional support, encouragement, stability, & love to a child.
Abby.Pinyerd's picture

Abby.Pinyerd said:

As a parent, permanency is a life long commitment to providing unconditional support, encouragement, stability, & love to a child.
jenniferhuckaby's picture

jenniferhuckaby said:

After going through this course, before answering this question, I asked our boys what they thought this meant. To them it means, a loving family, a home for always, mom and dad. To me and to answer them I said, if they ever needed answers about life in general we would be here for them. They would always have a large family to be here for them. If and when we are gone they would have four grown sisters and bother in laws that would always be here for them. Permanence is family, life and love. Now and for always.
KaylaReiter's picture

KaylaReiter said:

Permanency is the process of building a foundation and a life-long connection to someone who is willing to love unconditionally and provide the needs that every child deserves.
gwayns's picture

gwayns said:

Permanency means that I will help you find happiness through family involvement, spending time with you, and being there for you no matter what until death do we part
emmaetoro's picture

emmaetoro said:

it is the forever commitment to care for, love, guide, be there for, nurture, etc., to a youth in the foster care system
Cathy Rigby's picture

Cathy Rigby said:

Permanency needs to be approved by the child, they need to be a part in choosing who they have permanency with.
pjohnson's picture

pjohnson said:

Permanency is a life-long connection to someone who is willing to love unconditionally and provide support in all stages of life.