Credit hours:
2.00

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

1voswalt's picture

1voswalt said:

As a foster parent, you must know what the realistic expectations for permanency will be. However, we are the voice for our children and must know their hopes, dreams and desires when it comes to a permanency placement. We must be willing and able to speak that for them if it is within their best interest. We must know what they want and value in permanency to be able to be that voice. Then, maybe, we can help find an answer that is best for them.
1voswalt's picture

1voswalt said:

As a foster parent, you must know what the realistic expectations for permanency will be. However, we are the voice for our children and must know their hopes, dreams and desires when it comes to a permanency placement. We must be willing and able to speak that for them if it is within their best interest. We must know what they want and value in permanency to be able to be that voice. Then, maybe, we can help find an answer that is best for them.
1moswalt's picture

1moswalt said:

You have to pay attention to both because the youth is fragile. We must deal with the emotional state of where they are at and where they came from to be able to address their needs. However, as a foster parent, the federal definition is mandated. You must be able to help your child understand, work through, and deal with the expectations that ultimately governs their permanency plan.
Tracy Harmony's picture

Tracy Harmony said:

I think you have to consider both. As an experienced Foster Mom and presently a Foster to Adopt Mom, the two are simlar yet different. As a foster mom, I rarely ever considered the child's permenancy plan because I funtioned as a supportive, safe envirmonment while the State worked out the particulars. Almost all of our foster placements left our home for other foster homes, facility, group home or aged out. Over the course of 5 years of fostering, I never had a case worker discuss with me the permanacy plan for the child. Maybe in hindsight I would have been more helpful in preparing the child for a move. It was a big secret and the child seemed blindsided everytime. While I was always the best foster home they (child or caseworker) had ever seen, we were not considered or asked if we would be willing to be a viable permanent option for a child with TPR. Now that we are in a Foster to Adopt relationship, my parenting and foster parenting has completely changed. We went from being the best foster home ever, to the real possiblitiy of being their forever home. With that mindset, my foster parenting is more akin to traditonal Mom and Dad parenting. As a foster Mom, I went along with the flow of the case workers decisons and didn't participate in transportation to visits or apointments. As a Foster to Adopt Mom, I am very invested in my children's lives and am willingly to do whatever it takes to ensure their time left in foster care is less impactful on the rest of their lives. If more Foster to Adopt families were identified and provided permanacy planning support, more children stuck in care would find permanancy quicker.
grncarex2's picture

grncarex2 said:

There must be regulations, some type structure in place to guide the process. However, there needs to be input from the very ones most effected by the process. The youth have a right to be heard. Even in divorce cases, around the age of 14 (varies state to state) a child's input is allowed, and in many cases, it's the deciding factor in resolving the issue. We talk of empowering our youth. They need to know their opinion matters, and they will be heard, especially, in an arena where it seems they have been silenced and everyone but them has a right to script their lives for them.
vita's picture

vita said:

Why do children have to be removed from your home because adoption was not something that you wanted. They should have the right to say where they want to be,not forced to someone they don't know just because to the department they have run out of time. This puts so much trauma on the child and the foster parent.
Q50mcneil's picture

Q50mcneil said:

I think foster parents need to pay most attention to the federal definition of permanency because this is a child and the federal government mandates and the status of every child is reviewed every 6 months by a court or administrative review. A permanency planning hearing must be held within 12 months of the date the child enters care, and then every 12 months there after. So its not up to the child and encouraging permanency could be very misleading and could have serious ramifications or emotional distress because the child is a ward of the state, unable to make this decision or care for oneself .
Miriammyers's picture

Miriammyers said:

I think we should pay more attention to the youth's definition. As they become adults, it will mean more to them if they feel like they have a place to call home rather than "did they meet a federal definition". I think it matters more that the child feels loved, safe, people they can depend on, and a place to always com back to. Most children in Forster care probably don't even realize there is a federal definition. I know the one in my care does not.
mhowardjr35's picture

mhowardjr35 said:

We need to pay attention to the youths definition because they are the ones whose opinion matters. We are trying to create an environment for them to thrive in and what better way than to see what their thoughts on the idea of permanence.
gobucks33's picture

gobucks33 said:

I believe they must both be considered. As a Foster Parent, I must know the legal process for adoption, when the child will age out of the system, and what the legal implications of aging out are in order to best help them through that process. However, I must also recognize and acknowledge the child's idea of permanency and ensure I am providing the right support to help them achieve that plan. These children deserve to have a family and a home, but they should have some say in what that looks like.