Permanent homes and positive adult relationships can provide stability and lifelong support to children and youth that can buffer the effects of previous trauma. That is why it is critical to reduce the amount of time that children spend in foster care and expediting permanency. Child welfare professionals may face unique challenges in helping children, youth, and families achieve timely permanency. Depending on the jurisdiction and setting in which professionals work, these challenges may include laws, policies, or lack of specialized education, training, and resources for supporting permanency efforts. The following resources explore a variety of challenges frontline workers, managers, and administrators may face as they work to achieve permanency for the children, youth, and families they serve and offer strategies for eliminating the barriers they may encounter throughout the process. Resources include State and local examples.
Achieving Permanency for Children in Care: Barriers and Future Directions (PDF - 2,478 KB)
Madden & Aguiniga (2017)
Addresses system-level, case-level, and child- and family-level factors that could impede timely permanency for children in out-of-home care. The brief discusses Federal laws that govern permanency efforts as well as national and State examples of projects that eliminate barriers to permanency.
Belonging Matters—Helping Youth Explore Permanency
Engaging Partners to Achieve Timely Permanency for Children and Youth Waiting to Be Adopted
Capacity Building Center for States (2019)
Provides a variety of information and resources on engaging and working with faith-based, non-governmental, and philanthropic organizations to better recruit, train, and prepare adoptive families and potentially eliminate barriers to timely permanence for children.
Focused Services (PDF - 435 KB)
Quality Improvement Center for Adoption and Guardianship Support and Preservation (2016)
Discusses the impact of focused services in supporting the eventual permanency of adoptive and guardianship families. This resource includes three primary practice principles to assist service providers in working with families before the finalization of adoption and guardianship.
Permanency Barriers Project
American Bar Association, Center on Children and the Law
Shares information and strategies to address legal barriers to children achieving timely permanency. The website includes resources and State examples of permanency barrier projects.
Unadoptable is Unacceptable: Removing Legal Barriers to Permanency for Older Youth (PDF - 2,365 KB)
Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (2019)
Equips legal professionals with strategies to ensure that barriers to children’s right to timely permanency are adequately addressed through reasonable efforts requirements, Federal laws, terminating parental rights, adult adoption, and more.
What Are Some Effective Strategies for Achieving Permanency?
Casey Family Programs (2018)
Identifies effective strategies to mitigate barriers to achieving timely permanency for children in out-of-home care, including becoming a permanency-driven agency, reducing staff turnover, ensuring consistent and quality parent-child and family visits, encouraging parent and resource parent relationships, finding and engaging relatives, and more.
ACS Foster Care Strategic Blueprint FY 2019-FY 2023 & Findings From the Rapid Permanency Reviews (PDF - 2,161 KB)
NYC Administration for Children’s Services (2018)
Addresses barriers to permanency for children and youth in out-of-home care and offers strategies to mitigate barriers in the five-year State plan, particularly around kinship guardianship, reunification, and adoption.
Destination Family: Achieving Permanency for Children and Youth Through Relationship Development Matching
Adoptalk, 2 (2018)
National American Council on Adoptable Children
Highlights a program that prepares children who have barriers to adoption, such as emotional or developmental disabilities or being part of a large sibling group, and supports the family after the adoption is finalized to improve permanency.
Pathways to Permanence 2: Parenting Children Who have Experienced Trauma and Loss (Pathways 2): Intervention Implemented in Texas for the QIC-AG (PDF - 487 KB)
Quality Improvement Center for Adoption & Guardianship Support and Preservation (2017)
Outlines the process of designing and implementing the program designed to support children experiencing challenging emotional, behavioral, and mental health needs that are affecting permanency outcomes.
Permanency Innovations Initiative (PII) Project Resources
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children's Bureau (2014)
Provides information and resources about the Permanency Innovations Initiative (PII), a multisite Federal demonstration project designed to improve permanency outcomes among children in foster care who have the most serious barriers to permanency.
Permanency Roundtables: Challenging Barriers to Permanency for Children in Out-of-Home Care (PDF - 778 KB)
Allegheny County Department of Human Services
Discusses permanency roundtables as a way to target barriers to permanency with the engagement of birth parents, family members, child welfare staff, related professionals, and the child in out-of-home care. The brief discusses on-going follow-up strategies to promote successful permanency and prevent breakdowns and children from re-entering the child welfare system.
Recognize, Intervene, Support, and Empower (RISE)
Details a Federally-funded program and model that helps youth, parents, caregivers, and child welfare and related professionals prepare families and systems to better respond to the needs and outcomes of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or questioning (LGBTQ) youth and young people. The RISE program developed a LGBTQ+ training for professionals to teach best practices and strategies for working with LGBTQ youth, including eliminating barriers to permanency.