Safety, permanency, and well-being are goals for all children and youth, especially those in foster care. Helping youth leave foster care to live with legal, permanent families is a key strategy in achieving these goals. Assisting youth in establishing and nurturing permanent, caring connections to responsible adults also supports these goals.
For many years, the Children's Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has supported child welfare professionals in their work to find permanent families for youth in foster care. These efforts include supporting new Federal legislation, funding demonstration programs, raising awareness, coordinating training and technical assistance, supporting collaboration and partnerships, and disseminating positive results and strategies.
The Children's Bureau funds several National Resource Centers to carry out this work; these organizations offer many resources to support permanency for adolescents:
Finds and supports foster and adoptive families for waiting children by providing new and enhanced recruitment tools, training, and technical assistance to States and tribes. Developed a special recruitment campaign for older children waiting for adoption in collaboration with the Ad Council.
National Child Welfare Resource Center for Adoption
Works with States, tribes, and agencies to improve the effectiveness and quality of adoption and postadoption services. Areas of focus include promoting adoption for older children and youth and preparing and assessing children and youth for adoption.
National Child Welfare Resource Center for Youth Development
Works to increase the capacity and resources of States and tribes to help youth in care meet the goals of safety, permanency, and well-being. Areas of focus include permanency planning for adolescents, concurrent planning, and positive youth development
National Child Welfare Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues
Provides expertise to State and tribal agencies and courts on legal and judicial aspects of child welfare. Areas of focus include permanency decision-making, adherence to ASFA and other Federal laws, the impact of ASFA on youth in the juvenile justice system, and education needs of children in foster care.
National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections
Focuses on increasing the capacity and resources of State, tribal, and other public child welfare agencies to promote family-centered practices. Includes information on concurrent planning and reducing disproportional representation of children and youth of color in foster care.
Promoting Permanency: Successful Exits from Therapeutic Group Care Through Family and Community Reintegration
Casey Family Programs (2009)
Features a brief video designed to raise awareness about the importance of permanency for all youth who have spent time in foster care. The video shares the stories of three families who were reunited through the Child Protective Services Reintegration Pilot Project, which provides an extensive network of wraparound services and supports to caregivers of youth who are in foster care, have at least one DSM-IV diagnosis, and are reintegrating into their families and communities. A discussion guide for facilitators is also available. (PDF - 536 KB)
For data from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System, including permanency goals and outcomes for children and youth in foster care, view Adoption and Foster Care Statistics from the Children's Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.