Placement Stability and Permanency
Achieving placement stability and permanency for children and youth requires:
- Having a sufficient, diverse pool of foster, adoptive, and kinship families that can meet the needs of the children and youth in foster care in your child welfare system;
- Engaging and supporting families from their initial contact with your agency all the way through post-placement.
After families have had children and youth placed with them, they still need to be actively retained and supported, including receiving ongoing information to help them continue to build their capacity to meet children’s needs. Your child welfare system can build and sustain a pool of parents who can provide placement stability and permanency for children and youth by ensuring that you are actively preparing, supporting, and building the capacity of parents both before and after you place children and youth with them.
Recruiting Foster Parents and Recruiting Adoptive Parents
With such a large percentage — 56 percent in 2012 — of children and youth who are adopted being adopted by their foster parents, we encourage child welfare systems to consider how to coordinate their foster parent and adoptive parent recruitment strategies. Our materials on recruiting apply to recruiting both foster parents and adoptive parents.
How Does Diligent Recruitment Relate to Placement Stability and Permanency?
Many elements of comprehensive diligent recruitment relate closely to your efforts to improve placement stability and permanency, including:
- General, targeted, and child-specific recruitment, including relationship mining for youth, to meet placement needs of children in care;
- Recruitment and development of homes, including relative homes, that can provide placement as a part of concurrent planning for the child;
- Recruitment and development of homes that can accommodate siblings in care so siblings can be placed together or reunited when they have been separated in care;
- Recruitment of foster homes to ensure children and youth may be maintained in their schools when placed in foster care;
- Procedures and processes to eliminate barriers to the interjurisdictional placement of children;
- Utilization of adoption exchanges, including adoptuskids.org and/or regional or local exchanges;
- Dual licensure of foster and adoptive homes.
Building your capacity to address these elements of diligent recruitment will help you develop and sustain a pool of families who can meet the needs of children and youth in foster care. Having this pool of families will help you provide placement stability and permanency to children and youth.