Federal and State laws and policies provide guidance for achieving permanency for children and youth served by child welfare agencies. Permanency goals must be approved by the courts, and periodic court hearings are held to review permanency plans for children and youth in foster care to ensure adequate progress is being made toward those goals.
- Federal laws related to permanency
- State laws related to permanency
- Working with the courts for permanency
ABA Center on Children and the Law
Provides a full-service technical assistance, training, and research program addressing a broad spectrum of law- and court-related topics affecting children.
Capacity Building Center for Courts
Focuses on building the capacity of court improvement programs to help enhance child welfare practice in the courts and within the legal community.
Enhanced Resource Guidelines: Child Welfare Workers' Companion Guide (PDF - 15,738 KB)
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (2020)
Assists in building knowledge about hearing practice, promoting effective hearing practices, and enhancing court and child welfare agency collaboration in the child welfare system and cases of domestic violence.
How Does High-Quality Legal Representation for Parents Support Better Outcomes?
Casey Family Programs (2019)
Examines how quality representation is essential to ensure the best outcomes in dependency courts. Quality legal representation leads to more timely permanency, increased parental engagement, individualized case planning, better access to services, more frequent family visitation, and better judicial decision-making.
National Center for State Courts
Helps enhance court operations through research, consulting services, publications, and national education programs. It also collects and interprets data on court operations and provides information on best practices for child welfare cases.
National Conference of State Legislatures
Serves the legislators and staff of the Nation's States, commonwealths, and territories. The organization offers summaries of changes to State laws and how legislatures can be involved in the Federal Child and Family Services Reviews.
National Council of Juvenile & Family Court Judges
Offers guidelines and protocols, court profiles, frequently asked questions, and resources to help courts identify impediments to the timeliness and delivery of services for families with children in foster care. It also helps courts design and implement changes to reduce barriers for families.
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Child Welfare Information Gateway