Children and youth in foster care are best supported through a continuum of care that provides ongoing services. Transition planning is critical for children and youth while they are being placed with potentially permanent families and after placement to solidify and stabilize the new or reconstituted family. Families should be involved in the transition planning, as should relevant service providers and community members. The following resources offer information about providing appropriate transition support and services to children and families. Resources include State and local examples.
Better Adoption Transitions
Focus on Adoption Magazine (2018)
Gives three recommendations for transitioning children into a new family: remembering that this is a life-altering event for the child, using a team approach to include all members of the family, foster parents and foster siblings, and maintaining connections with other family members.
From Foster Care to Forever Family: Helping Your Child Transition
KVC Health Systems (2015)
Provides advice for how to help children understand their transition from foster care to a forever family. The steps include talking with children about changes, helping them understand their history, helping them cope with trauma and loss, and helping them transfer attachments.
Helping Your Child Transition from Foster Care to Adoption
Keeping the Promise: The Case for Adoption Support and Preservation
The Donaldson Adoption Institute (2014)
View Abstract and Document
Examines the stability of long-term adoptions and the needs of children and families as they go through the adoption process. The report includes a section on children's adjustment after adoption and how to avoid instability.
National Foster Care & Adoption Directory
Child Welfare Information Gateway
Provides State-by-State contact information for a variety of adoption-related organizations and services. Support Groups for Those Involved in the Search Process includes groups that offer support and information to adopted adults, birth parents, and relatives involved in a search for birth family members.
Plan, Prepare, and Support to Prevent Adoption Disruptions
North American Council on Adoptable Children (2017)
Discusses how to ensure more stable adoptions by paying closer attention to the children's and families' needs. The resource includes a section on preparing children, a section on preparing families, and information on making the transition from foster care to adoption.
Preparing Children and Youth for Adoption or Other Family Permanency
Prepermanency Services for Adoptive and Guardianship Families
Capacity Building Center for States (2017)
View Abstract and Download
Defines prepermanency services for prospective adoptive and guardianship families and raises awareness about the need for more services and support. This factsheet explores common needs of prospective adoptive and guardianship families and children and offers guidance on supports aimed at addressing those needs, including suggested resources and training for agencies to use in their adoption and guardianship programs.
Embrella: Embracing and Empowering Families
Provides services, support, and training opportunities for foster, adoptive, and kinship families and others who are involved in the well-being of children. Foster children also are provided programs to help support them as they make transitions.
Touchpoints: Preparing Children for Transitions (PDF - 666 KB)
Coalition for Children, Youth, and Families (2015)
Provides a tool to help talk with children and youth about the transition to out-of-home care and permanency. The guide includes activities that professionals and children can do to help the child cope with and work through the challenges of transitions.