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

EmDHall's picture

EmDHall said:

Permanence means that you will have stability, warmth, and love from our family. You will have a lifelong connection with us: always a place to stay and a person to call. It also means that we will commit to keeping up with you as well!
TrentDHall's picture

TrentDHall said:

Permanency is a feeling of security, belonging, and stability in our family. You will always be accepted and loved, and will have no fear of us "putting you out."
Akholden3's picture

Akholden3 said:

Permanency is stability, consistency and someone to turn to. Ideally that is found in a family situation, but where that is not available we need to help youth create those relationships. This can be through an adopted family, someone who will commit to following the youth through their life, or through other types of friendships. I think it is great to lay out concrete steps that can be taken to help youth create permanency, but know that it is never as easy as it is on paper and people mess up. Creating permanency is a long game, takes patience (on both sides) and the willingness to talk about hard things.
penny.wallace's picture

penny.wallace said:

Permanence is stability. Having someone they can depend on and just knowing that there is always someone you can talk to and lean on means the world.
alex.wallace's picture

alex.wallace said:

Permanence is dependability, a feeling of belonging, knowing that you have someone that will always be there for you even when it's hard.
PetraMiller's picture

PetraMiller said:

Permancy means that I will always be there for you, no matter what. You might not like what you get from me because it won't always be warm cookies and happy holidays. Sometimes it will be the advice you don't want to hear or being held accountable for your choices, but I will always be there for you. I will always have a hug for you. I will never stop loving you.
timross123's picture

timross123 said:

Permanency is unconditional commitment and love. It is a family and support system that will support you forever.
MBRLMR's picture

MBRLMR said:

I would tell them that no matter what happens in their journey of life that they would always have us to lean on rather it be helping with home work sending them to college answering all their questions baby sitting if they need someone. Tell them they better come for all the Holidays no exceptions lol. Love them unconditionally
riverreines's picture

riverreines said:

permanency is forever, unconditional love and support
Stalicake's picture

Stalicake said:

Permanency is knowing where you fit and belong, and knowing that it will be there for you, no matter what.