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September 2008Vol. 9, No. 7Curriculum for Court Personnel on the Benefits of Open Permanency

The Family Connections Project of Adoptions Unlimited, Inc., has developed a training manual to help judges and other court personnel understand the benefits of permanency plans that support the desire of foster youth to maintain connections to birth family members. Making the Case for Ongoing Connections Between Youth and Those Who Matter to Them—Before Permanency and Beyond provides detailed guidelines for setting up and delivering audience-specific education to legal and court personnel about the benefits of open permanency arrangements. It is one component of a comprehensive curriculum that has been developed to train legal professionals, caseworkers, foster/adoptive parents, and youth in understanding the importance of maintaining family and other important relationships when youth move to permanent families or other supportive situations. The curriculum was developed under an Adoption Opportunities grant funded by the Children's Bureau.

The Family Connections Project is a partnership among the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and two private agencies, Lutheran Social Services of Illinois and Hull House. Additional information about this project is available on the website of the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Adoption.

The training manual, written by Peggy Slater, is available for download on the same site: (PDF - 1,096 KB)