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

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.
AndraM's picture

AndraM said:

Permanency means being there, no matter what. Being there when times are easy, and being there when times are hard. Being there to give a helping hand, supportive shoulder, or lending an ear. Whatever is needed.
RobertM's picture

RobertM said:

I would explain permanence as support. Physical, emotional, mental, spiritual support. Someone you can count on to support you in life, whatever it may be.
Truth and Love's picture

Truth and Love said:

Consistency, routines are key to know what’s expected know what’s coming and trusted somebody will be there. Taking care of the house showing interest and hobbies. Putting time and effort into a child very important.
Tistinesissy's picture

Tistinesissy said:

I had no idea this existed and it makes so much sense. I plan to spread the word.
makaylaoney.13's picture

makaylaoney.13 said:

I think this training was really eye opening about the struggles faced by teens and young adults who have aged our or who are aging out of foster care. These articles were also really informational regarding how you can help with supporting these individuals and identifying resources for them also. I liked the idea of the permanency pact because it is something that the teens and young adults can use as a tool to help cope with the trauma and anxiety of feeling alone and like nobody has your back. I think that it's a great way to create a support system and also hep the youth reach their goals when it comes to transitioning.
Ronald Craig Huckaby's picture

Ronald Craig Huckaby said:

I would tell the children that permanency was much more than a name change and a place to call home. But it would be a lifelong support system for helping them to become productive and law abiding citizens, and citizens who would love their own children and raise them properly. It would be a family to be a part of and to share joy and pain.
Abby.Pinyerd's picture

Abby.Pinyerd said:

As a parent, permanency is a life long commitment to providing unconditional support, encouragement, stability, & love to a child.
Abby.Pinyerd's picture

Abby.Pinyerd said:

As a parent, permanency is a life long commitment to providing unconditional support, encouragement, stability, & love to a child.
jenniferhuckaby's picture

jenniferhuckaby said:

After going through this course, before answering this question, I asked our boys what they thought this meant. To them it means, a loving family, a home for always, mom and dad. To me and to answer them I said, if they ever needed answers about life in general we would be here for them. They would always have a large family to be here for them. If and when we are gone they would have four grown sisters and bother in laws that would always be here for them. Permanence is family, life and love. Now and for always.