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

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 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.
LaQuella L McNary's picture

LaQuella L McNary said:

This is a safe place and somewhere you'll always have a home and loved, supported, and nurtured for the rest of your life.
tiamnichols's picture

tiamnichols said:

Permanence is having a stable and safe place to live with loving and caring adults / family members.
frenchy78's picture

frenchy78 said:

It is giving the child an unconditional support system and proving to them you mean it.
katiejfrench's picture

katiejfrench said:

Permanency means having a permanent relationship, love, and place with someone. It might not always be the adoptive family because it could be another person the youth identifies with but the person always has your back and loves you unconditionally.