Children and youth with disabilities are overrepresented in the child welfare system and experience a higher rate of maltreatment compared with children without disabilities. Additionally, 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 prevalence of this population in the system and be able to identify and implement appropriate services to support permanency planning. Resources include State and local examples.
Achieving the Least Restrictive Setting in the Child Welfare System [Webinar]
Juvenile Law Center (2017)
Explains the Federal requirements of a case plan that includes the least restrictive and most family-like setting and offers practical advice for ensuring this requirement for youth with disabilities. The webinar includes an overview of alternatives to institutional care, advocacy strategies for promoting family-based placements, and case examples.
Foster Care Outcomes for Children with Intellectual Disability
Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 54(4)
Improving the Transition to Adulthood for Youth With Disabilities in Foster Care
Juvenile Law Center
Provides information for young adults with disabilities and the professionals working with them on permanency planning and supports.
In Their Own Words: Overcoming Barriers During the Transition to Adulthood for Youth With Disabilities Who Experienced Foster Care (PDF - 379 KB)
Harwick, Lindstrom, & Unruh (2017)
Children and Youth Services Review, 73
Presents the findings from a qualitative study about young adults with disabilities transitioning to adulthood from foster care.
An Overview of Adoption for Children With Disabilities (PDF - 1,751 KB)
CW360º: A Comprehensive Look at a Prevalent Child Welfare Issue: The Intersection of Child Welfare and Disability: Focus on Children, Spring
Provides historical context and current challenges to achieving permanency for children with disabilities.
A Powerful Tool for Change in the Child Welfare and Justice Systems: The Americans With Disabilities Act
Juvenile Law Center (2017)
Explains the rights youth with disabilities are guaranteed under the Americans With Disabilities Act, particularly regarding independent living services, permanency planning, family-based placements, and other services.
Behavioral Rehabilitative Services Handbook (PDF - 981 KB)
Washington State Department of Social and Health Services & Washington State Children's Administration (2017)
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.
Guide to Adoption in Nevada - Subsidized Adoption Assistance Program for Special Needs Children
Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Child and Family Services
Identifies the types of subsidies and assistance available to families in Nevada who are adopting a child with special needs, as well as the process for applying for assistance. The webpage includes actionable steps for child welfare professionals and attorneys to take to better advocate for youth with disabilities.
Imagine Different Coalition
Provides information and resources on a program that seeks to achieve alternatives to congregate care for children with disabilities through support services to birth families, reunification efforts, and care through partner families.
Permanency Planning for Children
Texas Health and Human Services
Explains the goals of permanency planning in Texas for individuals needing a permanent living arrangement, including those with developmental disabilities.
Permanency Planning Resource Guide (PDF - 702 KB)
Texas Human Services, Department of Family and Protective Services (2018)
Discusses planning for permanency in Texas. The guide includes a section on permanency planning for children with intellectual or developmental disabilities.