The ultimate goal for children and youth in foster care is for them to transition to safe and permanent families. As youth age, however, they are less likely than younger children in foster care to achieve legal permanency. Youth who exit care without achieving permanency are at risk for a number of negative outcomes, including lower income, poorer health, and higher arrest rates. Agencies can and should seek permanency for youth, and there are various strategies for doing so. Additionally, agencies can help youth establish and maintain meaningful connections with caring adults who can provide guidance and support.
Presents recorded conversations from the All-In Campaign, a partnership between FosterClub, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), and the Children's Bureau. The campaign includes a Youth Engagement Team made up of 11 people with lived experience in foster care. Team members engaged in three conversations with ACF and Children's Bureau leadership on permanency, which can be accessed after filling out a free form.
Concurrent Planning for Timely Permanence
Defining and Achieving Permanency Among Older Youth in Foster Care
Salazar, Jones, Amemiya, Cherry, Brown, Catalano, & Monahan (2018)
Children and Youth Services Review, 87
Presents the findings of a study on how youth define permanency, how much progress have youth made in achieving permanency, and what outcomes are associated with permanency. The study concludes with implications for the field.
Equity in Permanency: Assessing the Scope of International Kinship Placements for Children in the U.S. Foster Care System (PDF - 497 KB)
International Social Services, USA (2022)
Presents the findings of an evaluation analyzing and identifying national and State-level systems that support and facilitate international connections for children involved in the child welfare system.
"I Want Other Kids to Know the Things I Learned Over Time"
Features advice for parents, professionals, and youth from a young woman who was adopted as an adult.
Permanency and Placement Stability
Casey Family Programs (2021)
Discusses the need for permanency and stability for youth in the foster care system and offers resources with strategies on achieving permanency.
Promoting Permanency for Teens: Resource Aims to Bolster Foster Care Supports
National Center for Youth Law (2022)
Explores States' policies and practices on permanency and transitioning to adulthood for youth in foster care and offers recommendations for State permanency standards.
Recommendations for Improving Permanency and Well-Being
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families Youth Engagement Team (2021)
Provides key recommendations from three roundtable discussions with young adults with lived experience in the foster care system about how to support permanency with kin, relational permanency, and successful older youth adoption.
What Are Some Effective Strategies for Older Youth Adoption?
Casey Family Programs (2020)
Presents strategies taken from jurisdictions experiencing higher rates of older youth adoption that have worked to achieve higher rates of permanency for this population. The strategies include youth-driven permanency, utilizing family search and engagement, kinship adoption, community-based recruitment, caseworker support, and adoption support and preservation services.
What I Learned From My Mother About Adopting a Teen
Provides advice for parents who are planning to adopt a teenager on understanding trauma, how to connect with teens, the importance of focusing on youths' strengths, how to be a successful advocate, how to make youth feel comfortable in a new home, and more. The advice comes from a social worker who has lived experience in foster care and was adopted.
What Permanency Means to Youth in Foster Care
Bridges Homeward (2022)
Discusses the need for and the multiple ways that permanency can be achieved for youth in foster care, such as guardianship and adoption, and the main components to help youth achieve permanency.