June 3, 2024

Push for Permanency in Foster Care


If you have been around foster care for a while you might have noticed a recent push and focus in the foster care system for child permanency. Recent studies have shown the emotional, social and psychological impacts that permanency has on a child in foster care. Permanency relates to the child’s final destination on their foster care journey. What permanency looks like for each child varies but can include coming back home to previous caregivers, moving in with a family member, or remaining with their current foster family. Of course, the permanency goal for kids in foster care is to return home to their previous caretakers, ideally their biological family.

June is National Reunification Month in the United States. This is a time for families and social workers to recommit to strengthening their efforts to help foster and biological families come together for the wellbeing of the child so that they can return home. One of the ways we can promote permanency and healthy reunification is understanding the weight of relationships between foster families and biological families. A positive relationship between foster parents and biological families shows the child that everyone is on the same team and offers a sense of security to that child. While we have often been told that biological families are not “safe,” that is not actually normally the case. It is important we evaluate our biases and the stigma surrounding foster children’s various family members.  Bridging the gap between families can lead to a positive transition and less trauma for all parties involved.

There are countless resources to help foster families navigate relationships with biological families. Here are a few helpful resources to check out.

Just as every child in the foster care system is different and unique, the same applies for the relationship between foster families and biological families. If you are unsure of where to start or how to help support foster families wanting to navigate this, the first step is to always pray. Foster care is complex and my hope and prayer is that we would each consider the role we play in pushing for permanency for kids in care. Contact us at Nightlight to learn more about fostering and adoption.

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