Frequently Asked Questions: Achieving & Maintaining Permanency
Questions and answers
- How long do children stay in foster care? What are their plans after foster care?
- How is the decision to terminate parental rights made?
- A family member asked me to be a legal guardian for her children because she is having some serious problems and cannot care for them, but I'm not sure exactly what that means. Can you explain?
- What are the permanency outcomes for children leaving foster care?
An additional 10 percent were emancipated or aged out of foster care, and 3 percent had other outcomes. The percentage of children who left the system for adoption increased by 2 percentage points between FY 2000 and FY 2008. Overall, the percentage of children exiting foster care to a permanent family (i.e., reunification, adoption, or living with relative or guardian) showed only small variations across the two periods. For more information, see the Children's Bureau's Adoption & Foster Care Statistics.
- How the Child Welfare System Works
Also available in Spanish: Cómo Funciona el Sistema de Bienestar de Menores
- Adoption and Foster Care Statistics (AFCARS Reports)
- Child Welfare Outcomes Report Data
Frequently requested information
- State Laws on Child Welfare
Summaries of State laws on permanency planning for children in foster care.
- Concurrent Planning: What the Evidence Shows
A review and synthesis of recently published research and selected program examples about concurrent planning. (PDF - 457 KB)
- Promising Practices in Reunification (PDF - 171 KB)
Examines key components of reunification programs that appear to be achieving positive results.
- Kinship Caregivers and the Child Welfare System: A Factsheet for Families
Types of kinship care, services for relative caregivers, and more.
- Kinship/Relative Care
Contact information for organizations that provide information about kinship care and services for kinship caregivers.
Promotes the recruitment and retention of adoptive families for children in foster care.
- Foster Parents Considering Adoption: A Factsheet for Families
Provides information on the differences between foster care and adoption and explores the factors foster parents should consider when deciding whether to adopt children in their care. (PDF - 512 KB)