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Permanency Planning Options

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The number one goal for youth in foster care is permanency - a safe, stable home in which to live and grow including a life-long relationship with a nurturing caregiver. Every child in care deserves a permanent home. It is important for a child that permanency planning happen as soon as a child enters foster care and when possible includes the child in planning for his or her own future. 

Federal Permanency Goals for youth:

Reunification is the process of reuniting the child with the birth family and is widely recognized as the initial goal for every child entering foster care. When reunification cannot happen, due to reasons of safety or other considerations, other permanency goals will be considered.

Adoption is the preferred permanency goal once parental rights have been terminated. There are 3 different types of adoptions: Relative AdoptionFoster Family Adoption, and Recruited Family Adoption.

Guardianship and adoption both offer the child a sense of security and family attachment and allow the adoptive parent or guardian to make decisions on the child's behalf. If a child's goal is either adoption or guardianship, finalization of these two goals leads to the removal of the child from foster care supervising.

Permanent Placement with a Fit and Willing Relative (PPFWR) can become the federal permanency goal for a child if reunification, adoption, or placement with a guardian are not feasible options.

Another Planned Permanent Living Arrangement (APPLA) is the least preferred permanency goal and must be used only when other more permanent plans, including reunification, adoption, guardianship, or PPFWR have been ruled out. There are no "official" APPLA placements, but a Foster Family Agreement or Independent or Semi-Independent Living may be different options for a youth who's goal has been changed to APPLA.