Permanency for Older Youth
Federal Laws and Legislation on Permanency for Children in Foster Care: Permanency, as epitomized by a safe, stable relationship with a nurturing caregiver, allows these basic needs to be met.
“Permanency is a feeling that is different for everyone, it is not bound by time nor can it be measured. It has to be discovered and often times it has to be tested, and rejected more than once before permanency can be established. Permanency is so hard to understand because it is a conceptual idea of an emotion and is received on both ends very differently for every person. There is no straight “by the book” definition of permanency because the emotions I feel cannot be felt by anyone else, and that’s the great thing about it.”
The following questions were generated during a youth and young adult panel discussion and developed as a tool for workers to ask prospective parents and share with waiting teens.
We have to stop accepting that teenagers in particular are not worthy of permanency. We have to continue to recruit only unconditionally committed permanent families for every teen in our care who will be discharged to no one.
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
Casey Life Skills (CLS) is a free tool that assesses the behaviors and competencies youth need to achieve their long term goals. It aims to set youth on their way toward developing healthy, productive lives.
This report explores initiatives, synthesizes research findings, and makes recommendations for better meeting the needs of the growing proportion of youth who “age out” of foster care each year – and face daunting challenges in their transition to adulthood.
Federal law — the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 — has set a list of options to be considered and pursued in order of most to least secure: adoption; legal guardianship; placement with a fit and willing relative; or Another Planned Permanent Living Arrangement.
In this paper research is presented that examines the efficacy of Independent Living (IL) services in preparing foster youth to live “independently”, and calls into question the appropriateness of an “independence” goal for youth aging out of foster care.
A Guide for Caseworkers to Help Prepare Teens for Adoption; a suggested list of casework practices aimed a securing family connections for young people is not exhaustive, and should be considered as a point of departure in working with young persons who need our assistance in finding a permanent connection to a nurturing, committed adult.
We have seen that, with focused effort, it is entirely possible to connect older youth with permanent adoptive families. This publication highlights successful strategies to break down barriers that block a youth’s path to permanency.
The family finding model provides child welfare practitioners intensive search and engagement techniques to identify family and other adults close to a child in foster care, and to involve these adults in developing and carrying out a plan for the emotional and legal permanency of the child.
The Guide to Working with Young Parents in Out of Home Care provides information and guidance for working with pregnant and parenting youth that are central to appropriate service delivery and the Family Team Conference practice model.
The focus of this guide is to provide support to young pregnant and parenting youth, helping them as they develop both as individuals and as parents through positive casework interactions.
The process of bringing the supportive adult together with youth and developing a pledge or “Permanency Pact” has proven successful in clarifying the relationship and identifying mutual expectations. A committed, caring adult may provide a lifeline for a youth, particularly those who are preparing to transition out of foster care to life on their own.