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?

Subscribe now!

Just $24.95 for 1 year subscription per parent (unlimited access to courses for one year).

Subscribe Now

Log in to your account

Already subscribed? Log in to your FosterClub account now to take a course!

Log in

Course Discussion

armymanbernsgirl's picture

armymanbernsgirl said:

I would tell them that permanency is very important . I would be there for them, to help them in life after school and foster care. All children need stability and the feeling of family. They need to feel that you are there for them no matter what happens. That you love them unconditionally. They need to know that they matter and are special.
Susan.Peveler's picture

Susan.Peveler said:

Everyone needs a home to come to in hard times and for celebrations. We are striving to be that home for a former foster child of ours who left at 18, thinking she was grown and then came back a few months later, asking for help. It has been a year now and she is currently attending family vacations and asking for help with legal documents to move forward in her life goals. One of the most challenging things about it is that we had to be patient and wait for her to CHOOSE this path. We are grateful that she has and that we can offer the permanent family she deserves.
aholroyde's picture

aholroyde said:

I would describe it as a right for them to feel heard, and a sense of belonging and that they would feel safe without judgement.
aliholroyde's picture

aliholroyde said:

I would describe permanence as unconditional love, support and continued encouragement, even when they may not be your forever family or you may no longer living in the home.
michelle1371's picture

michelle1371 said:

We have to remember that the foster child/adolescent must choose their permanent adult.
mmiester's picture

mmiester said:

Permanency ought to be a right for every kid - that sense of belonging is crucial for any human being.
tracey's picture

tracey said:

I would describe permanence as not just a family forever, but an unconditional support system to count on even when you are no longer living in their home
ashley_062902's picture

ashley_062902 said:

I would explain permanence to my foster child as unconditional and forever stability, love, acceptance, and support. Permanence should take away the fear of starting over!
gdmj0311's picture

gdmj0311 said:

the permanency plan sounds like a very positive program for aged out foster kids. unfortunately in today's age so many aged out kids get turned out and forgotten. it is awesome to know there is a support program like this in place to help with the success of aged out foster kids.
casjo1998's picture

casjo1998 said:

Permanency is a home that you belong in and you are able to be stable in, Family who will protect you and keep you safe through your tough times, it doesn't have to be blood or your actual close family members, it is someone, that specific person who cares and loves for you no matter what, you may be a different race, different blood, Friend, but if it is someone you known or taken care of they will always be your family.