Children and youth in out-of-home care must be involved in planning for their own permanency to the extent possible. Discussing permanency options, explaining the processes, and helping children and youth deal with the emotional ups and downs are all activities that can help prepare and support them in achieving permanency. The following resources, which include State and local examples, can help professionals prepare youth throughout the permanency process.
The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare (2017)
Presents an approach that empowers children, youth, and families and allows them to engage in the work of grieving losses and rebuilding relationships with the goal of well-being, safety, and permanency.
Engaging Older Youth in Permanency Planning
Juvenile Law Center (2019)
Presents a toolkit for child welfare professionals to support youth and assist them in achieving permanency. The toolkit includes tools and best practices developed by youth advocates for professionals who work on permanency planning.
Healing Guidebook: Practical Tips and Tools for Working With Children and Youth Who Have Experienced Trauma (PDF - 17,728 KB)
Anu Family Services & Alia Innovations (2018)
Presents an effective four-phase framework—protect, grieve, connect, and regulate—for helping youth heal from relational trauma and find permanency.
How Can We Ensure a Child’s First Placement Is With a Family?
Casey Family Programs (2018)
Examines how child protection agencies have developed ways to secure the most appropriate first placement for children who come into care in an effort to support placement stability and the achievement of timely permanency.
Keeping the Family Conversation Alive (PDF - 3,528 KB)
Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative (2017)
Provides examples of youth perspectives’ on permanency and methods that child welfare practitioners can implement in order to continue engaging youth in conversations about permanency.
Know Your Rights Guide: Chapter 1 – Rights Related to Family and Permanency
Juvenile Law Center
Discusses the legal definitions of permanency and the rights of a family when permanency of a child or young adult is being considered.
Tips to Prepare Children for the Adoption of a Sibling
Creating a Family (2020)
Provides tips for parents about how to prepare children for a newly adopted sibling, including talking about expected challenges and intentionally planning time.
Unpacking the No: Helping Young People Explore the Idea of Adoption
Stevens & Libertin (2018)
North American Council on Adoptable Children
Discusses how caseworkers can respond to older youth or teens in foster care who have said they do not want to be adopted. The resource reviews several reasons why older youth say they do not want to participate in adoptive family recruitment and ways to respond.
What Are Some Effective Strategies for Achieving Permanency?
Casey Family Programs (2018)
Highlights evidenced-based strategies that child protection agencies can use to achieve permanency for children in out-of-home care.
Youth Voices: Why Family Matters [Webinar]
AdoptUSKids & Child Welfare Information Gateway (2019)
Describes the importance of permanency for older youth, how to engage youth when planning for adoption, and resources that can support efforts to achieve permanency for older youth, including the National Adoption Month website.
Destination Family: Achieving Permanency for Children and Youth Through Relationship Development Matching
North American Council on Adoptable Children (2018)
Discusses the Destination Family methodology used by permanency workers in youth preparation and recruitment in Sacramento County.
Family Focus Adoption Guide Program
Family Focus Adoption Services
Describes a program in New York and New Jersey that aims to help children become more confident in the adoption process. Each child is assigned a trained and well-supervised guide to help them through the adoption process, from placement through their decision about adoption. The program uses a graduated visiting schedule, from twice a week to once every three weeks, and takes the child through a series of adoption levels that are marked by six cards collected by the child over five months. The goal of the program is to help children become more certain that being adopted by the particular family they are with is the right decision for them.
Preparing the Child for Adoption
Kentucky Department for Community Based Services
Guides child welfare professionals through the process of acquainting children with the adoption process and equipping them to make informed decisions about adoptive families as well as providing postadoption support for the family.
Youth Permanency Connections
Children’s Services of Roxbury (2020)
Examines an approach used by a Massachusetts children’s service agency that works to identify a family connection to a child in the child welfare system that does not have any pre-existing family ties.