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

nathanhall22's picture

nathanhall22 said:

We are required to pay attention to the federal definition of permanency because this is what the courts follow and adhere to; although, we have a duty to remember the best interest of the children living in our home. If they have a reasonable explanation for their desires for permanency in any way, that should be respected and highly considered by case workers, the court, and the foster parents.
Heidiliz77's picture

Heidiliz77 said:

I agree with many of the comments stated above. I think we must know and adhere to the federal law at a minimum. But also, listen to and respect the desires and definitions of the youth in care.
katelynhall22's picture

katelynhall22 said:

I think it is critical to keep both definitions in mind when considering permanency. There are many reasons for considering both: although, I think a few are of importance to highlight. We must keep the child's view of permanency in mind because it is the life that they will have to live with. These children are forced to live with the decisions of others- bio parents, judges, recommendations. Their stability is of importance, and when they believe they have achieved permanency, that should be taken into strong consideration. However, the law is intended to be evidence-based. It is uniform and provides structure in guiding cases. A framework is important for consistency.
snicholas's picture

snicholas said:

The federal definition should be the minimum standard, however the youth's definition should be the suggested guideline. Listen to them when being the process of permanency.
snicholas's picture

snicholas said:

The federal definition should be the minimum standard but the youth's definition should be the suggested guideline. Listen to them when being the process of permanency.
SGRIER's picture

SGRIER said:

It saddens me that we should listen to the federal side, because in the end thats what dictates the outcome for the children. This is especially concerning for the kids who are too young to speak for themselves, and the past speaks volumes. It is a struggle for me to understand how reunification in my mind shoud not be an option in some cases but is very much a reality. Children that are too young to speak are at a disadvantage and sometimes need to be rescued from the whole family. It seems to me that if the family has custody, they will in some form be exposed to the parent that was not able to care for these children in a proper manner. Just seeing the parent can cause trauma. Not all parents rights need to be terminated but permanency seems to attempt to make it possible for some children to reunify with parents that dont deserve as well. I know its their job in the end. My concern is what happens after reunification.
katelynhall22's picture

katelynhall22 replied:

I agree, and it's hard to figure out how to appropriately voice my concerns without being pegged as biased.
amberbobst's picture

amberbobst said:

The federal side is definitely important but to also remained focus on hearing the child's voice on the matter. Ultimately we are to look out for the child's needs and providing permanence.
gretchennoah's picture

gretchennoah said:

I keep the federal version in mind...but I look first to the child's view. How can we help them if we don't understand their view first? One step at a time... one court hearing at a time. We get through it. But it's amazing in our experience how many families do not have good bio-family permanency options. So sad. We foster mainly teens....so the reading is correct... most are not adopted. But they all still need love and a place to think of and call HOME. Wish more foster families would consider teens. Very rewarding.
cls2lrn2's picture

cls2lrn2 said:

What the Courts Require and What the Youth Need should and need to go hand in hand. Some of what I see and hear that goes on is out of this world. Some things should never happen. Some things should never take so long and a lot of things need to be taken into consideration.