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September 2019Vol. 20, No. 7Achieving Permanency for Children in Care

Achieving permanency for children in out-of-home care is a federally mandated goal of the Child and Family Services Reviews; however, many children still do not find permanent homes in a timely manner.

A paper titled Achieving Permanency for Children in Care: Barriers and Future Directions discusses factors at the systems level, case level, and child and family level that may impact whether children in care achieve permanency.

Systems-level factors that may impede permanency include the following:

  • Lack of preparedness, training, and supports for foster, adoptive, and kinship placements
  • High child welfare staff turnover leading to increased case loads 

Case-level factors that may hinder permanency include the following:

  • Frequent contact with the child welfare system
  • Decreased placement stability
  • Prior involvement with child protective services
  • The type of initial placement, such as being placed in family foster care or congregate care

Child- and family-level factors that may impede permanency include the following:

  • Child and family characteristics, including the child's gender, race, and age
  • Children with mental or physical disabilities

The article also features key federal legislation related to improving permanency outcomes, such as the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980, the Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994, the Interethnic Adoption Provisions of 1996, the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, and the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008; programs and strategies, such as the Permanency Innovations Initiative and the solution-based casework model; and future directions.

Achieving Permanency for Children in Care: Barriers and Future Directions is available at (2,420 KB).