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June is National Reunification Month

What are some effective strategies for achieving permanency?

Foster care is intended to be temporary: time-limited out-of-home care until a child can safely return home or, if that is not possible, until the child has a new permanent family. However, children across the country are lingering in foster care, turning what should be a temporary experience into one that may last into adulthood. When the child protection agency fails to connect a child with a permanent family, the agency is failing that child: youth who age out of care without a family are less likely to achieve educational goals, less likely to earn a living wage, and are more likely to become involved with the criminal justice system.1 A permanency-driven child protection agency achieves timely legal permanency for all children, typically through reunification, guardianship, or adoption, as well as relational permanence, so that each child has at least one safe, stable, lifelong, family or family-like relationship that provides physical, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being.

A review of the literature identified a variety of promising and evidence-based strategies that child protection agencies can use to achieve permanency for children in out-of-home care.

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