Children and youth with disabilities are overrepresented in the child welfare system. Not only do children with disabilities experience a higher rate of maltreatment compared with children without disabilities, it is also more difficult to find resource families who are trained, prepared, and willing to parent children with disabilities who enter the child welfare system. To successfully find permanent homes for these children, it is necessary for child welfare professionals to understand the barriers to permanency for this population and be able to apply targeted permanency planning strategies. Resources include State and local examples.
Disabled Children Who Need Permanence: Barriers to Placement
Adoption and Fostering, 29(3)
Explores barriers that make disabled children's pathways to permanency problematic, including issues pertaining to the recruitment, assessment, and support of families; the profiling and placing of children; problems at the management level in the training and development of staff; and in departmental structures and in diminished resources.
Helping Families Raise Children With Special Health Care Needs at Home
Johnson & Kastner (2005)
Examines the philosophy of providing a permanent family environment for all children, including those with special health-care needs, and the importance of adequate and accessible community services to support and maintain the well-being of all family members.
An Overview of Adoption for Children With Disabilities (PDF - 1,751)
CW360º: A Comprehensive Look at a Prevalent Child Welfare Issue: The Intersection of Child Welfare and Disability: Focus on Children
Provides historical context and current challenges to achieving permanency for children with disabilities.
Permanency Planning for Adolescents With Disabilities
American Bar Association
ABA Child Law Practice, 24(8)
Assists advocates with permanency planning for adolescents with disabilities and discusses practice guidelines.
Behavioral Rehabilitative Services Handbook (PDF - 350 KB)
Washington State Department of Social and Health Services & Washington State Children's Administration (2014)
Describes an intensive support and treatment program for children with behavioral/emotional disturbances as well as developmental disabilities, which is designed to assist them in transitioning to a less restrictive environment.
Predictors of Successful Permanency Planning and Length of Stay in Foster Care: The Role of Race, Diagnosis and Place of Residence
Becker, Jordan, & Larsen (2007)
Examines factors that determined the outcome of permanency planning and length of stay in foster care for children served by the child welfare system in Florida.