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

blondie7845's picture

blondie7845 said:

I would tell my foster youth that a permanency pact is a personal and permanent commitment to their life a success. It's a place to go for Christmas. It's a bed to sleep in. It's a place to do laundry. It's a listening ear and good advice. It's a place to land when life is uncertain. A permanency pact is a meaningful way to help a young person become a responsible adult.
BaltimoreFosterParent's picture

BaltimoreFoster... said:

Permanency is having the connections of a forever family. It can be legal permanency or providing the resources that are normally associated with families that they provide for one another.
szelesta85's picture

szelesta85 said:

I would describe permanency to my foster child by telling them its a pact between them and an adult that would help them in any way possible and have a relationship with them as a family
davehair's picture

davehair said:

I would explain permanence as giving someone unconditional love and support no matter what.
SamiNic0803's picture

SamiNic0803 said:

We would explain to the children the best we could about what has happened and to let them know we would like to adopt them and make this a permanent situation/home for them.
VickyR's picture

VickyR said:

Let her know we are always going to be here for her. Even after she ages out.
cstp009's picture

cstp009 said:

I would explain permanency by talking to them about the idea of never ending love and support, the concept of being a part of a family is about more than blood ties.
brett2634's picture

brett2634 said:

Having a sense of stability even after foster care. Having people permanently in place to support you as you learn to do life as an adult. They can have different capacities in your life, but they are all permanent and reliable.
dmlewis's picture

dmlewis said:

We have one foster kiddo coming back to us after turning 18. She was placed with an aunt in Michigan and wants to return to Colorado to be with her friends and support system. We are happy to have her and she will be a part of our family without going through a formal adoption. The permanency pact will be a wonderful show of commitment.
Tivvani's picture

Tivvani said:

Permanence means you have people or a situation in your life that you can count on to always be there. You feel secure with these people or in this place because you know they will be there unconditionally.