For Legal Professionals
Young people in foster care deserve to feel connected and know they belong to a family. Legal professionals play an important role in case planning for young people and should advocate for each child to achieve permanency through adoption or guardianship. The resources below provide strategies for engaging youth in their own case planning, addressing barriers to permanency, and collaborating with child welfare agencies to ensure older youth are adopted.
The Collective Power of Youth
American Bar Association
Promotes youth-led organizing as a strategy for system change and highlights the role lawyers can play in this effort.
Pathways to Permanency: Expanding on APPLA Provisions and Youth Engagement to Improve Permanency (PDF - 225 KB)
Capacity Building Center for States & Capacity Building Center for Courts
Outlines strategies for legal/court professionals and child welfare professionals to authentically engage youth in achieving permanency.
Promoting Permanency for Teens: A 50 State Review of Law and Policy (PDF - 3,770 KB)
Johnson, Speiglman, Mauldon, Grimm, and Perry (2018)
National Center for Youth Law
Compiles State policies and practices for teens in foster care in two potentially competing areas: teens’ need for a permanent connection to a family and teens’ developmental and practical needs in transitioning to legal adulthood, independence, and self-sufficiency.
Unadoptable Is Unacceptable: Removing Legal Barriers to Permanency for Older Youth: A Guide for Legal Partners in the Child Welfare System
Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (2019)
Explores the most common legal challenges that occur when helping children to transition from foster care into their adoptive families and offers solutions for how legal partners can help remove the barriers that threaten permanency.
Working With the Courts for Permanency
Child Welfare Information Gateway
Provides resources to help child welfare agencies and courts collaborate to achieve permanency for children.
Youth Voices for Permanency: Courtroom Guide on How Courts and Judges Can Make a Difference (PDF - 456 KB)
Voice for Adoption (2016)
Identifies some of the significant barriers to permanency and provides tips for judges on helping youth achieve permanency.
QIC-AG Podcast Episode #1: Child Welfare in the 21st Century: Supporting Families Who Provide Permanence [Podcast]
Quality Improvement Center for Adoption and Guardianship Support and Preservation (2019)