Get Involved in Your Permanency Plan

You have a right and a responsibility to share your thoughts with the adults in your life about where you want to live and the people you can go to for support including your siblings. Watch these videos and visit these websites to learn how you can help decide what your plans are for life after foster care. One way you can be involved is through youth advisory boards and youth councils These programs allow your voice to be heard in your State or even throughout the nation.

Most of these examples are from specific States, so the information may be different where you live. Ask your caseworker for help that is specific to your State or county.

Spotlight On

A Guide for Maintaining Sibling Connections

A Guide for Maintaining Sibling Connections [Video]
Youth in Progress
Describes the permanent connection many youth have with their siblings and how that connection can be maintained even while in care. Youth, parents and professionals discuss how they partner to achieve permanency through sibling connections.

Summit for Youth Permanency

What Does it Mean? [Video]
Nebraska Children (2011)
Offers a video in which teens talk about what family and permanency mean to them.

Alaska CINA Court Guidebook Youth Hearing Checklists (PDF - 81 KB)
Alaska Court System, Alaska Office of Public Advocacy, Facing Foster Care in Alaska, & Alaska Office of Children's Services (2010)
Lists decisions that judges need to make and questions judges might ask teens during the following types of hearings: temporary custody, adjudication, disposition, permanency, adoption, legal guardianship, and youth exit or release of custody. These checklists are part of What Am I Doing Here? A Roadmap for Youth in the Alaska Child in Need of Aid System (PDF - 5,990 KB)

Know Your Rights: Family Team Conferences (PDF - 30 KB)
The Legal Aid Society (New York, NY) (2010)
Explains how Family Team Conferences (FTCs) bring together youth, their families, and the people working with them to plan for the future. The brochure describes who can attend, what is discussed, when they take place, the permanency planning goal, and the rights and role of youth to participate in FTCs.

Need to Know Series: Adoption Rights for Foster Care Youth Who Are 14 Years Old and Older (PDF - 15452 KB)
New York State Foster Care Youth Leadership Advisory Team (2011)
Describes what adoption means for youth leaving foster care and provides some details on how the adoption process works.

TTYL: Keeping in Contact With Your Professional (PDF - 317 KB)
Northeast Massachusetts Community of Practice (2011)
Highlights simple ways to stay in contact with doctors, counselors, psychiatrists, and other professionals. The TTYL (slang for talk to you later) tip sheet covers keeping in contact by phone, text, and the Internet.

Youth Participation in Planning: Why It Matters

Youth Participation in Planning: Why It Matters [Video]
Research and Training Center at Portland State University
Offers a video in which youth describe, in their own words and with stories from their own lives, what it feels like not to have any say in the plans that are made for their treatment, care, education, and future.

Youth Rights: Permanency Plans for Youth in Care (PDF - 84 KB)
Juvenile Law Center (2010)
Reviews different permanency options for youth involved in the child welfare system, including adoption, subsidized and unsubsidized permanent legal custodianship, placement with relatives, another planned permanent living arrangement (APPLA) with a permanency resource, and more.

What Does 'Family' Mean?
Youth Communication (2013)
Represent: The Voice of Youth in Care, 111
Provides youths' perspectives on who they consider family, from blood relatives to other people they trust. This magazine is also designed to offer supportive adults useful insights into youths' concerns.

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*Do you have a publication to add? E-mail them to info@childwelfare.gov.

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