Department of Health & Human Services  
Home | Links | Contact

Achievement of Child Permanency

Definition: Percentage of children who reach legal permanency by reunification, guardianship, adoption, another planned permanent living arrangement, or other legal categories within specific time frames.

Purpose: Child Permanency. To meet the ASFA goal that children have permanency and stability in their living situations and continuity of family relationships. Permanency is achieved when children are returned to their families without further court supervision, when children are adopted, or when children are placed with permanent guardians. (42 U.S.C. Sec 675 (5)(c).

This measure is designed to determine whether children are in permanent, secure homes within a reasonable time after their placement in foster care. The courts share responsibility for permanency because they decide when children will be permanently placed and oversee the case planning and progress during the life of the case.

Method: Computing this measure first requires recording the disposition of child maltreatment cases by how permanency was achieved. Both the raw numbers and percentages should be reported.

Analysis and Interpretation:
The purpose of this analysis is to determine how children achieved permanency.

Required Data Elements:
Case number or child identifier,
Date of original petition was filed
Date of case closure
Reason for case closure—reunification, guardianship, adoption, or another planned permanent living arrangement.

Alternative Measures:
Percent of children exiting foster care to permanency.

Another Planned Permanent Living Arrangement is a permanent legal arrangement for a child designed to promote stability and permanency in a child’s life. 42 U.S. C. 475 (5)(c). Planned means the arrangement is intended, considered and deliberate. It is a category for arrangements other than a return home, adoption, legal guardianship or placement with a relative. It is used to replace the previous goals of long term foster care and independent living/emancipation because these could lead to frequent moves for the child.