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

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.
coultersmom's picture

coultersmom replied:

I think when children are in care they must be protected by the federal law. Then, we must consider the whole child and the wishes of the child should be considered. The law may have to superceed these wishes, but the should be thoughtfully considered.
TheJLedQ35's picture

TheJLedQ35 said:

I feel the youths description of permanency holds a little more weight than federal government. I do believe that the federal government needs to have some basic input for safety precautions but overall the youth's description of permanency hold a lot of weight in my mind.
albaughg's picture

albaughg said:

I believe it is more important to listen to the youth's definition. The federal definition is something that is derived from lawyers and has the legal jargon that muddies up what is really behind the means of the definition - what the youth's feelings and emotions. To understand what is really behind the meaning of permanency, you have to take the explanation from those who it directly effects - youth.
rick2214's picture

rick2214 said:

Prior to being a foster parent to a newborn I would say the federal definition due to giving the bilogical mother, father time to do what was needed to obtain reunification but as I have lived and send the permancy word tossed around for almost three years( which is how long my daughter (foster) have been in my care) and experience how social services, child advocate lawyers and the court system uses it as a crutch, I now understand that we should be looking at permancy through the eyes of the youth because in reality this is the person that is affected emotionally, socially and physically for actions in most cases are not of their control but they suffer the consequences.
spedteacher828's picture

spedteacher828 said:

Permanence is something that shouldn't be taken lightly, but also something that shouldn't be prolonged. Children shouldn't be part of the system for 10-12 years, moving from home to home. How is that in their best interest? How are they to develop family skills? Why are so many kids being adopted after they aged out of the system? Something isn't right and this still needs to be fixed. I have personally seen too much of this.
davidgregor's picture

davidgregor said:

I think the question is a little misdirected. As a foster parent, my goal is to provide a permanent place in my home and my heart to the children that come through my doors.I have to be open to the pain and uncertainty that the kids are going through. For some of my kids, they have accepted and embraced a permanent place in the family. For some, they have rejected a place. And, there is one still trying to figure out if they will accept permanence. My job is to make sure that permanence is offered - no matter how the feds define it, and no matter if the kids accept it or not. So, I tell my kids all the time, that we love them, and they are part of our family (even if they don't want to hear it!)
Vendy's picture

Vendy said:

The youth's voice on permanence is most important. t least the Ferderal now is beginning to realize the importance of it.