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

fkoonce's picture

fkoonce said:

josehunter's picture

josehunter said:

Permanence may not work for every child, this conversation should take place with every child in the foster system. The child must have a voice in this decision to make sure that the correct action is taken in helping make this critical life decision.
Janieb814's picture

Janieb814 said:

The discussion of permanence should take place on an age-appropriate basis. Younger children really don't understand/comprehend what adoption or permanence means. You can explain it to them and they just can't seem to wrap their little hearts and minds around it. For older youth, they most definitely can understand permanence, although, they may not believe it's something they can ever achieve. Youth should always be involved in their plan for permanence. I think it's very important to get the youth's opinion/desire to see if they even want to be adopted. Some youth will want a fresh start at forever, while others may want to just wait it out in the system until they can reunite with their birth family on their own terms. I think it is very important to sit down and discuss all the pros and cons of permanence with the youth and have them be involved in the decision. Discussion on permanence is not just a one time thing either, it should be multiple discussions over a period of time to decide if being part of the family is what they truly want and what is best for them.
Micaht333's picture

Micaht333 said:

Having supportive and loving adults around that care for you no matter what is important. So we need to discuss a plan and share it with those that genuinely want to support you in your endeavors and through your independent living.
msbeky1101's picture

msbeky1101 said:

I would tell them that I am here for you through the good and the bad. I will listen to you and together we hopefully form a family bond
josephhalsey's picture

josephhalsey said:

I would tell them that I am here to love, help, and support them through life no matter what the situation is. I hope that we develop the kind of relationship where thoughts and feelings are openly and freely shared without fear of judgment and condemnation where we both can work toward the very best resolution.
NicoleJohn Kallberg's picture

NicoleJohn Kallberg said:

A life long connections to a family throughout a lifetime!
Cheferin84's picture

Cheferin84 said:

Permanent is a way for our youth to know that no matter what life throws at them whether good or bad, they will always have someone to back them up and support them.
craigstephens's picture

craigstephens said:

Permanence is a forever relationship that nurtures safety, love, reliability, acceptance, unconditionally always.
Lmcelheny's picture

Lmcelheny said:

Unconditional love and commitment -