Credit hours:

Course Summary

Welcome to a course designed to help foster parents and caregivers regarding permanency for foster youth. In this course you will learn that Permanency comes in many different shapes and sizes, and that different people can provide different types of permanency for foster youth. We believe permanence is vital to a foster youth’s success in life, therefore we plan on expanding on this topic with future courses.

In this course, you can expect to learn:

  • The federal definition of permanency
  • Statistics for permanency outcomes
  • Your role in helping children establish permanence
  • Youth perspective about permanence and build skills to speak to youth about permanence

Step 1

Read this FosterClub Real Story written by Aaron Weaver explaining how achieving permanency can make a significant contribution to a young person’s time spent in care.

Step 2

Read "Permanency: More Than Just Homes". The article was written for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteers, but contains relevant and valuable information for foster parents and caregivers

Step 3

Read pages 1-5 of "Court Hearings for the Permanent Placement of Children" from the Child Welfare Information Gateway.

Step 4

Review the National Foster Youth Advisory Council's (NFYAC), a group of young leaders who have experienced foster care, top ten recommendations for Ensuring Permanency for Youth in the Foster Care.

Step 5

Young people have a need for permanence even after they leave foster care. Read "You don't age out of family", a blog written by Julia Charles, a #FosterClubLeader.

Step 6

Join the discussion in the comments below to answer the following question:

Do you think foster parents need to pay most attention to the federal definition of permanency or the youths' definition? Why?

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Course Discussion

Heim3608's picture

Heim3608 said:

I believe the youth's definition is certainly more important as it is vital to helping them grow with a sense of self worth..
epowell's picture

epowell said:

In my opinion the federal regulation is important, but not as important as the kids own voices opinions and concerns. They run good together and beneficial in many ways.
Tistinesissy's picture

Tistinesissy said:

I think the federal definition is and important base line and that the opinion of the youth should be valued as a way to build on that definition and provide them with a definition unique to them and their needs.
Ankromfamily1's picture

Ankromfamily1 said:

I think both definitions are important. As foster parents, we need to understand and operate under federal laws and definition, but as advocates for our foster children, we need to ensure their needs and desires are met (or as close as realistically possible). We got into fostering with the ultimate goal of adopting, but understanding that some of the children we foster may go back to their birth parents instead. We know that, if the birth parents can provide a healthy environment for their children, it is in the best interests of everybody if they go back. We are adults and can handle getting our hearrts broken.
JamesWash's picture

JamesWash said:

The definition provided by the youth will get my attention more than the federal definition since the youth have actually lived through the process. The life experience the youth have to offer to the definition is much more important to me than the federal's textbook definition.
MamaWash's picture

MamaWash said:

As foster parents, we are to work for what is in the best interest for the children. The best advice comes from someone who has actually been in the situation themself and can speak from experience. Since the youth's definition is based on personal experiences, it carries more weight for me.
raymondclap1's picture

raymondclap1 said:

I assume the federal definition has taken into account the feelings and ideas of the youth of a period of time, otherwise, what is the point. Permanency has core components but it's truest definition is subjective to the individual. Listen to what the youth themselves are yearning for. In the end, everyone has their own perspective.
tamullins13's picture

tamullins13 said:

Since the purpose of the feds is to protect, their primary concern is a child's safety, not comfort. Practically speaking, a child's perception will be the most influencing. But it seems reasonable that the best course is to align both definitions
sdclinkscales's picture

sdclinkscales said:

I think that as a foster parent that I need to think of both definitions equally. In order to be successful in planning for any permanent situation for my foster children I need to be aware of the laws and the federal definition. Without being aware I could potentially aid in the mis-education of the children as well as get their hopes up for unreasonable things. And that is definitely not something that we would want to do with any of the children in foster care.
linneacnord's picture

linneacnord said:

It is so important that if we can't, as foster parents, adopt the children in our care that we advocate for them to get into the best situation possible by making sure their wants and needs are heard by adults. Being open and honest with them while making sure to take time to listen to him or her is a vital way to make sure transition to permanent placement is successful.