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November 2021Vol. 22, No. 10Achieving Permanency for the Well-Being of Children and Youth

A new Information Memorandum (IM) released by the Children's Bureau gives titles IV-B and IV-E agencies important guidance on best practices to improve permanency outcomes. It outlines patterns in exit outcomes for children and youth in foster care and emphasizes the importance of protecting family relationships while pursuing permanency for children and youth. It also reviews reunification, adoption, and guardianship as permanency goals and highlights the importance of strengthening attachments and connections while ensuring safety rather than focusing on prioritizing permanency timeframes, which will better preserve families and prevent maltreatment. The IM also provides background information on best practices and requirements to preserve family connections as well as three data analyses that focus on the impact the termination of parental rights termination has on time in care and negative outcomes. 

The IM concludes that strong family relationships and connections are essential to child well-being, family relationships and connections directly influence a child's sense of permanency, and meaningful efforts toward reunification should be an urgent priority. It calls for child welfare agencies to center their efforts on preserving and bolstering these relationships for all children and youth in foster care to ensure positive permanency outcomes.

To learn more, read Achieving Permanency for the Well-Being of Children and Youth (ACYF-CB-IM-21-01).