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 youth in your care towards building and strengthening relationships with supportive people in their life.

In this course, you can expect to learn:

  • The importance of permanency for youth in care

  • How young people in foster care think about permanency

  • The different types of permanent relationships and their roles in the lives of youth in care

  • 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

  • The importance of understanding that permanency comes with responsibility from all people involved – including youth

Step 1

Watch the video "What Does Permanency Mean?" developed by Nebraska Children and Families Foundation to better understand what permanency means to foster youth.

Step 2

Meet the Lived Experience Leaders involved in the ACF’s All-In Youth Engagement Team, and learn from their expertise about what they would like to see for permanency in the foster care system.  Then review the All-In Youth Engagement Team’s  Recommendations for Improving Permanency and Well-Being.

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 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?

Step 8

Finished the module? If you are logged in as a subscribed user, take the quiz to earn your Continuing Education Credit hours and certificate!

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Course Discussion

Joenangel14's picture

Joenangel14 said:

Permanency is a forever relationship
joenangel's picture

joenangel said:

Permanency is having the feeling of belonging
Laurama's picture

Laurama said:

Permanency is the least we can do for our kids to give them meaningful connections throughout their life.
kcarden2's picture

kcarden2 said:

Permanency means the people you are going to live with until you grow up and become an adult.
mbravard9886's picture

mbravard9886 said:

Permanancy is letting the foster youth know that no matter what they've done wrong in the past it doesn't matter because you're there to help them get through it all.
JaredGiles's picture

JaredGiles said:

Permanence is being grounded. It is knowing that there is a rock you can anchor to when life is crazy.'s picture

[email protected] said:

Permanence is both relational and legal- it’s nuanced and unique to each youth’s individual situation.
Joe Nichols's picture

Joe Nichols said:

Permanence is having a safe and stable home with loving caretakers.'s picture

curleytailfarms... said:

I would explain that it is a plan for the success of their future. They will be safe, loved and supported.


I would simply explain permanency as being part of a family and never have to worry about moving again.