During the permanency planning process, it is critical for child welfare workers to work closely with children, youth, and families. The Federal Child and Family Services Reviews, which looked at child welfare in every State, found that engaging families in case planning and timely and quality caseworker visits were the two most important activities to impact child welfare outcomes—including permanency. Family input can help guide workers toward the most beneficial permanency plan for each child and ensure that children have a support network both during and after they leave out-of-home care. Workers may engage and work with families in different ways depending on the circumstances and goals of the case.
- Engaging families in permanency planning
- Preparing children and youth for permanency
- Integrating foster parents in permanency planning
- Creating and maintaining meaningful connections
- Considering siblings in permanency planning
- Transition support and services
- Concurrent planning
- Mediation for permanency planning
Positive partnerships between birth parents, caregivers, caseworkers, and/or older youth often make the difference in ensuring reunification. When foster or relative caregivers’ model effective communication and practical parenting skills, or when they make sure that visits are constructive, they are laying the foundation for achieving permanency. The following suite of resources features the lived experience of youth in foster care, foster and relative caregivers, and the parents and models constructive approaches for working together toward positive outcomes.