This special issue of Protecting Children, “Love and Belonging for a Lifetime: Youth Permanency in Child Welfare”, highlights many of the nuanced practice and policy issues that support effective permanency planning and decision making with adolescents in foster care. Building strong and permanent family relationships with adolescents may seem counterintuitive to the adolescent developmental tasks of forming an individual identity and separating from family to find a place in the world. However, family permanence for adolescents in foster care is fundamentally the most critical outcome to be achieved—for if adolescents are to become successful adults, they must have a family from which to separate and to then rely on for a lifetime of support. In addition, young people in foster care need support to piece together their complex life histories so that they can begin to make peace with their past, feel more secure in the present, and move forward with planning their futures—including both permanency and transition planning.
In This Issue of Protecting Children
- Love and Belonging for a Lifetime by Stacie Hanson and Sarah Greenblatt
- What Finding Permanency Means from a Youth Perspective by Dianna Walters
- Independent Living Program Transformation in California: Lessons Learned about Working with Older Youth and Implications for Permanency by Karen Lofts Jarboe and Jen Agosti
- Integrating Child Welfare and Mental Health Practices: Actualizing Youth Permanency Using the 3-5-7 Model by Darla L. Henry and Gregory Manning
- Permanency for LGBTQ Youth by Gerald P. Mallon, D.S.W.
- Reinstating Parental Rights: Another Path to Permanency? by Susan Getman and Steve Christian
- Adopt Cuyahoga’s Kids: Securing Adoptive Placements for Older Youth in Cuyahoga County’s Public Child Welfare System by Sue Pearlmutter, Victor Groza, Teresa Garafolo, and Betsie Norris