Credit hours:

Course Summary

This course is designed to help foster parents and caregivers understand and support 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. FosterClub believes permanence is vital to a youth in and from care's success in life, and that foster parents can play a vital role in this helping youth establish this.

In this course, you can expect to learn:

  • The federal definition of permanency

  • Statistics for permanency outcomes

  • Your role in helping children and youth establish permanence

  • Youth perspective about permanence

  • Build skills to speak to children and 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, and 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 the blog "You Don't Age Out of Family" written by Julia Charles, a FosterClub Lived Experience Leader.

Step 6

Read this FosterClub Real Story by Aleks Talsky about the importance of educating young people on their permanency options and allowing them agency to determine their own permanency plan.

Step 7

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

What actions will you take to ensure children and youth in your care have an active role in their own permanency plans?

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

trombonehampton's picture

trombonehampton said:

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

Mariah_Rader said:

I think the child's definition of permanency should be foremost in the decision, as long as the child is of an age and mental capacity to understand the situation. The child will, often times, know what their needs are better than the government will and their needs should be the only thing considered in determining permanency.
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