Balancing permanency and stability for youth in foster care

Tonia Stott, Nora Gustavsson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    71 Scopus citations


    Youth aging out of the foster care system are at risk for poor outcomes. Little is known about the etiology of these outcomes. However, placement instability may be one contributor. Permanency planning as a policy was well-intentioned. However, for adolescents likely to age out of care, the policy may actually contribute to placement instability. A review of the elements of permanency reveals a complex concept which emphasizes continuity of relationships. Federal permanency legislation and state policy may be in conflict with this goal, especially for youth who age out of care. We review the challenges faced by youth aging out of care, their placement histories, permanency planning as a policy and practice, and suggest modifications to permanency planning to facilitate the development and maintenance of the stable social networks essential for successful transitions to adulthood.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)619-625
    Number of pages7
    JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Apr 2010


    • Aging out
    • Foster care
    • Foster care youth
    • Permanency planning
    • Placement stability
    • Relational permanence

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Education
    • Developmental and Educational Psychology
    • Sociology and Political Science


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