GLS 5: Child and Youth Permanency
The organization participates in or facilitates a permanency planning
process with families to promote stability, permanency, and well-being.
Permanency work is aimed at achieving physical, emotional, and legal permanency for children and youth. Public and private agency roles in the permanency planning process are defined by state rules, regulations, or contracts
. When the organization is not responsible for facilitating the permanency planning process, it documents attempts to participate in the process.
Service providers, the public authority, and the court work with the child, youth, and family to develop a permanency plan within 30 days of placement, which specifies:
- the permanency goal(s);
- a timeframe for achieving permanency; and
- activities that support permanency.
The timeframe for achieving permanency should be consistent with state and federal regulations which in most cases
should not exceed 12 months. Tribal representatives and service providers should be involved in the permanency planning process when the Indian Child
Welfare Act applies. In extenuating circumstances, the plan can be completed within 60 days. The age of a youth should not limit the consideration of all permanency options.
Concurrent planning is undertaken when appropriate and includes:
- early assessment of the potential for reunification;
- full disclosure of options, expectations, and timelines;
- early identification of potential family resources;
- early placement with a permanent family resource; and
- counseling for parents about relinquishment and permanency options when reunification seems unlikely.
State statutes or administrative rules may provide guidance about when concurrent planning is appropriate, and how concurrent planning is to be conducted.
The child, parents, caregivers, and relevant professionals participate in a court or administrative case review at least every six months to assess:
- the appropriateness of continued placement;
- constructive parent, child, and sibling visitation;
- efforts to reunify the family and progress toward permanency;
- possible planning resources and best options; and
- appropriateness of services.
State statutes or administrative rules may provide guidance about when and how concurrent planning is to be conducted. The case review may be conducted by or in collaboration with the public authority. The review is scheduled at times when appropriate parties can attend.
Youth are actively involved in the permanency planning process, and children and youth receive age appropriate information about progress toward permanency.
The case record documents opportunities parents have to support reunification, including:
- involvement in service planning and access to needed services;
- constructive visitation and on-going contact with the child;
- reduction of barriers to contact, visitation, and involvement in the child’s care; and
- use of resources to prepare the family for reunification.
Note: The documentation must be in a format legally admissible as evidence to facilitate court proceedings.
The organization recommends or files a petition to terminate parental rights for children who have been in care for 15 of the most recent 22 months, unless case-specific information legally exempts a child.
The reason submitted for termination
of parental rights cannot be the length of time a child has been in care. When the decision is made not to reunify the child and parent, the justification and alternative permanency goal are entered into the case record.