Credit hours:

Course Summary

Children and youth in foster care often talk about feeling different from their peers. While the foster care system is intended to create safety for young people, it often can create barriers that cause young people to miss out on many important aspects of growing up that their peers experience. This course explores the efforts and importance to provide normalcy for children and youth in foster care.

In this course, you can expect to learn:

  • The definition of normalcy, including insights from the perspectives of youth in and from foster care

  • System-imposed barriers to normalcy

  • Resources and tools to help discuss and define normalcy activities with youth

  • Policy recommendations and policy trends being considered or implemented across the country

Step 1 

Watch FosterClub Lived Experience Leaders share their perspectives about how to define normalcy in the video, Normalcy: Equal Treatment for Foster Youth.

Step 2

Read the article "New Law Tells States to Seek 'Normalcy' for Foster Children" on, which discusses a law passed in 2014 that requires states to make efforts to provide foster children with normalcy.

Step 3

Read recommendations, "Improving Well-Being by Addressing Normalcy for Foster Youth" from the National Foster Care Youth & Alumni Policy Council, a group of young leaders who spent time in foster care.

Step 4

Review the article, "Among Foster Youth, A Need for Normalcy" written by guest writer Lexie Güber, providing a young person’s perspective about why normalcy matters for foster youth.

Step 5

Review The Teen Success Agreement, created by foster youth. This tool is a written agreement that outlines age-appropriate activities, responsibilities, and life skills for youth ages 13-21 in the child welfare system, and how caregivers and child welfare agencies can support those goals. 

Step 6

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

In what way could providing normalcy benefit a young person and their overall experience in care?

Step 7

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

Chrislovesfl's picture

Chrislovesfl said:

Allowing the youth the freedom to go about business as per usual will create less stress and provide more stability in the long run.
gdmj0311's picture

gdmj0311 said:

normalcy in care would help the child feel more accepted. would also help the child to have a normal life and not feel like an outside reject wondering where they are supposed to fit in.
justinandjenn100's picture

justinandjenn100 said:

Having a normal childhood yet being in foster care helps the position that the children are in and is very important to strive for.
G.Brown's picture

G.Brown said:

Normalcy helps children fit in with their peers and know it's ok.
Nunezb22's picture

Nunezb22 said:

I think it helps with overall well-being, and hopefully establishing permanency if they feel they can just be a normal kid.
slemley0819's picture

slemley0819 said:

Normalcy is very important for kids in foster care. They just want to be treated like their friends. They want to be allowed to do things and not have to worry about the consequences. Normalcy is good for their mental health.
jamiejoyner's picture

jamiejoyner said:

I believe it could help with their overall wellbeing so they are able to be a teen or youth that doesn't feel like that are stuck with so many rules that they can not have their own lives.
jeffsteele's picture

jeffsteele said:

Normalcy is essential for a healthy childhood and teen experience.
carrieleasteele's picture

carrieleasteele said:

Every child wants to feel normal and have the option of participating in fun activities like their peers. This is a critical time in their lives and they will gain important life skills from these experiences.
Logiudicece's picture

Logiudicece said:

Normalcy helps kids know that they are important and reminds and ensures them that adults are there to help and support them. Normalcy helps make kids feel like they are not being punished if they didn't do something wrong. It helps teach life lessons and builds lasting memories that you can't get without experiencing certain things like going to prom or your first job as a kid.