Children and youth in out-of-home care should be as fully involved in permanency planning as possible. Discussing permanency options, explaining the processes, and helping children and youth work through their emotions are activities that can help prepare and support them in achieving permanency. This section includes resources to help caseworkers prepare children and youth for permanency, particularly adoption, and offers strategies that help engage youth throughout the process. Resources include State and local examples.
Belonging Matters—Helping Youth Explore Permanency
Engaging Older Youth in Permanency Planning
Juvenile Law Center (2019)
Presents a toolkit for child welfare professionals to support youth and assist them in achieving permanency. The toolkit includes tools and best practices developed by youth advocates for professionals who work on permanency planning.
Engaging Youth in Writing Photolisting Narratives
Describes the importance of involving children and youth in the creation of their photolisting narratives and explores some principles of youth engagement. The article also reviews how to engage children and youth in writing their own narratives and provides tips for building rapport with youth.
Engaging Youth in Writing Their Narratives [Webinar]
Provides strategies to help professionals engage youth in creating effective, strengths-based profiles.
Lived Expertise: Youth Empowerment and Permanency
Capacity Building Center for States (2020)
Children’s Bureau Express, 21(8)
Outlines strategies to empower youth in foster care to take the lead in their own permanency planning.
Promoting Permanency for Older Youth in Out-of-Home Care
Recommendations for Improving Permanency and Well-Being
Administration for Children and Families Youth Engagement Team (2021)
Provides key recommendations from three roundtable discussions with young adults with lived experience in the foster care system about how to support permanency with kin, relational permanency, and successful older youth adoption.
Talking With Older Youth About Adoption
Youth Voices: Why Family Matters [Webinar]
AdoptUSKids and Child Welfare Information Gateway (2019)
Describes the importance of permanency for older youth, how to engage youth when planning for adoption, and resources that can support efforts to achieve permanency for older youth, including the National Adoption Month website.
Our Youth-Centered Approach
You Gotta Believe (2020)
Explains You Gotta Believe's approach to finding permanent homes for youth, including how the New York-based organization works with youth to identify important adults in their lives.
Tools for Success: A Toolkit for Child Welfare Professionals to Achieve Permanency and Stability for Youth in Foster Care
Youth Fostering Change & Juvenile Law Center (2018)
Provides information for social workers, advocates, caseworkers, and other child welfare professionals who support youth in achieving legal permanency and relational permanency. It includes tools and best practices for working with youth to achieve permanency.
Tribal Leadership Series: Youth Engagement (PDF - 5,322 KB)
First Kids 1st (2018)
Provides information for Tribal leaders on how to engage youth. The brief discusses the importance of youth engagement and the practices and tools to support it.