In child welfare, permanency is a permanent, stable living situation, ideally one in which family connections are preserved. Permanency planning begins when a child comes to the attention of the child welfare system. It is most often achieved when a child is reunified with their family of origin, but it may also occur when another court mandated permanency goal, such as guardianship or adoption, is obtained.  

Engaging children, youth, and families in permanency planning and placement decisions is important to promote the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and youth in foster care. The first placement consideration should be with family members or close friends capable of providing a safe and nurturing home. Continuously engaging youth and families in adoption and guardianship is key.

Kinship care supports increased stability and allows children to maintain connections to their family, friends, and communities. When children are in kinship or foster care, child welfare professionals and others should facilitate connections with siblings, family members, or other significant adults to maintain relational permanency. 

Use these resources to learn more about achieving and maintaining permanency for children and youth. 

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