1 Permanency Pact Life-lng, kin-like cnnectins between a yuth and a supprtive adult A free tl t supprt permanency fr yuth in fster care The natinal netwrk fr yung peple in fster care w w w. f s t e rc l u b. rg
2 Permanency Pact What s a Permanency Pact? A pledge by a supprtive adult t prvide specific supprts t a yung persn in fster care with a gal f establishing a lifelng, kin-like relatinship. Yuth transitining frm fster care are ften unsure abut wh they can cunt n fr nging supprt. Many f their significant relatinships with adults have been based n prfessinal cnnectins which will terminate nce the transitin frm care is cmpleted. It is critical t the yuth's success t identify thse adults wh will cntinue t prvide varius supprts thrugh and beynd the transitin frm care. Clarifying exactly what the varius supprts will include can help t avid gaps in the yuth's safety net and misunderstandings between the yuth and the supprtive adult. A Permanency Pact prvides: structure and a safety net fr the yuth a defined and verbalized cmmitment by bth parties t a lng term supprtive relatinship clarity regarding the expectatins f the relatinship A Permanency Pact creates a frmalized, facilitated prcess t cnnect yuth in fster care with a supprtive adult. The prcess f bringing the supprtive adult tgether with yuth and develping a pledge r Permanency Pact has prven successful in clarifying the relatinship and identifying mutual expectatins. A cmmitted, caring adult may prvide a lifeline fr a yuth, particularly thse wh are preparing t transitin ut f fster care t life n their wn. Participants in a Permanency Pact In additin t the tw primary parties in a Permanency Pact (the yuth and the supprtive adult), it is recmmended that a Facilitatr assist in develping the Pact. Shawn frm Michigan, FsterClub All-Star As I get lder I am seeing the imprtance f family, cmmunity and peer supprt. Ever since I became engaged and active in my cmmunity my circle f supprt has expanded. My life has becme s much mre enriched nw that I have accepted that I have a lt f peple that care abut me, I genuinely believe that family: peers, bi, fster, adptive, in-laws are the mst valuable thing a persn can have in their life. The Facilitatr may be a Case Wrker, Independent Living Prvider r ther adult wh: is knwledgeable in facilitating Permanency Pacts* is familiar with the yuth, and can prvide insight int the general needs f the yuth transitining frm care The Supprtive Adult is an adult wh: has been identified by the yuth has a relatinship with the yuth is willing t cmmit t a life-lng relatinship with the yuth is a psitive rle-mdel and is able t prvide the yuth with specific supprt n an n-ging basis identifies an adult imprtance f permanency prmises t prvide specific supprt assists t understand prvides guidance t *A Permanency Pact Tlkit will be available Summer, 2007 at the natinal netwrk fr yung peple in fster care Permanency Pact 2006 FsterClub, Inc r Permissin t cpy and distribute is granted as lng as this dcument remains entirely intact and is nt altered.
3 Develping a Permanency Pact The first step is t engage the yuth t identify the supprts they want r need as they prepare fr the transitin ut f fster care, and beynd t adulthd. The fllwing list f 45 Suggested Supprts can help with this prcess. Tgether with the yuth, the Facilitatr can then begin t develp a list f adults wh may be able t prvide sme f thse supprts. This list may include current relatinships r adults with whm the yuth has had a previus cnnectin t which they wish t reestablish. FsterClub member Caliguy94037, age 18, frm Califrnia I cnsider permanency t be a life lng cnnectin with an adult and cnsider it very imprtant. In my experiences, I have just met adults that seem t stay in my life and that cnnectin with them helps me t succeed in life. The Facilitatr then: btains necessary releases f infrmatin makes initial cntact with the indentified adult(s) updates them regarding the yuthʼs current situatin gauges their level f interest assists the adult in identifying pssible supprts they will prvide, and schedules and facilitates the Permanency Pact meeting Wrking with the Supprtive Adult, the Facilitatr can use the fllwing list f 45 Suggested Supprts t draft a list f supprts that the adult wishes t ffer the yuth. The list is then presented t the yuth wh will acknwledge the ffer and accept thse supprts that they feel wuld be mst beneficial. Additinal supprts may be suggested by either the yuth r the supprtive adult. The final list may then be hand written using the attached list r entered int the Pact template, available in Micrsft Wrd, Wrdperfect, and PDF frmats (available in the Permanency Pact tlkit, rder thrugh starting Summer 2007). The yuth and Supprtive Adult sign the Pact and the Facilitatr prvides a witness signature. Cpies f the Permanency Pact are prvided t the yuth, the Supprtive Adult and maintained in the case recrd as part f the yuth's Transitin Plan. It is recmmended that a certificate be prepared which dcuments the Pact between the adult and yuth (certificate templates available in the Permanency Pact tlkit). All ther members f the yuth's Transitin Team, including fster parents, CASA, judge, etc. shuld als receive cpies f the Permanency Pact. Taking a step tward trusting a relatinship is ften a very great accmplishment fr a yuth with a backgrund where relatinships are brken, prmises are ften nt kept, and disappintment in caretakers prevails. The gift that a Supprtive Adult cntributes by way f a life-lng cmmitment t the relatinship is heric. The impact f the frged relatinship may be prfund t all parties. T symblize the imprtance f the cmmitment, it is recmmended that a Permanency Pact be held in cnjunctin with sme srt f ceremny r celebratin. The Supprtive Adult may want t give the yuth a tken keepsake gift (a piece f jewelry, pht frame, watch, engraved item, a special nte, pht album, etc.), a celebratin meal can be be enjyed. Schylar Frm Mntana, Fsterclub All-Star I have been thrugh a lt in my life, and smetimes felt as if I were the nly ne alive in the wrld even when I was surrunded by lts f peple. I am nt always sure why I felt this way, maybe because I was a fster kid r maybe because I had always been tld I was meant fr nthing. But after a life f trials, I fund smene that can almst make me frget a lt f the hurt and bad relatinships. He is my 6th grade music teacher, my mentr, my savir thrugh 11 placements, and nw my dad. I am 23, and am sn t be adpted yur never t ld t be adpted. A Certificate has been prvided in this packet which may be used t affirm the Permanency Pact made between a yuth and supprtive adult. the natinal netwrk fr yung peple in fster care Permanency Pact 2006 FsterClub, Inc r Permissin t cpy and distribute is granted as lng as this dcument remains entirely intact and is nt altered.
4 45 Suggested Supprts......that a Supprtive Adult might ffer t a yuth transitining frm care A H O M E F O R T H E H O L I DAY S Spending the hlidays withut a family and with nwhere t g is a significant issue cited by yung peple wh have transitined ut f fster care. Extending an invitatin t hliday celebratins, r birthdays can help a yuth fend ff the depressin that usually sets in arund these imprtant times f year. J O B S E A R C H A S S I S TA N C E Finding a jb can be a daunting task fr anyne. Advice, help filling ut applicatins r creating a resumé, rehearsal f interview questins, transprtatin t interviews, preparatin f apprpriate clthing, discussin f wrkplace behavir, and just plain cheering n can help a yuth successfully land a jb. A P L A C E T O D O L AU N D RY Many adults can lk back at the times they returned hme as a yuth with bags laded with dirty clthes t wash. The ffer t use laundry facilities can be a great way t keep a regular cnnectin with a yuth and prvide them with a way t maintain pride in their appearance, regardless f an unstable husing situatin. C A R E E R C O U N S E L I N G An adult wrking in the yuthʼs field f interest can ffer advice which culd launch a yuthʼs career. Yuth particularly benefit frm cnnectins and intrductins which lead t apprenticeships, jb shadws, r ther real-wrld experience. Supprtive adults can help the transitining yuth make these cntacts. E M E R G E N C Y P L A C E T O S TAY Statistics shw 25% f yung persns will spend at least ne night hmeless within the first 2-4 years f leaving fster care. The ffer f an emergency cuch t sleep n r a guest bedrm t stay in can reduce anxiety and keep yung peple safe during hardships. Supprtive adults may want t specify limits in time r expectatins (help with husewrk, etc.) as a cnditin f this ffer. F O O D / O C C A S I O N A L M E A L S A friendly, family-style meal every thursday evening r an invitatin t Sunday brunch r a mnthly lunch can prvide a yuth with a healthy alternative t the fast-fd that ften cmpses a yuthʼs diet. It als prvides a chance t cnnect and t rlemdel family life. An pen invite t raid the pantry can be very cmfrting t yung students r thse n a limited budget and will help t ensure that the yuthʼs health isnʼt jepardized when funds are lw. C A R E PA C K A G E S AT C O L L E G E Students regularly receive bxes f hmemade ckies, a phne card r phts frm their parents when away at cllege. A regular package t a fster yuth wh has transitined frm care reminds them f cnnectins back hme, and allws them t fit in with their peers. E M P L OY M E N T O P P O RT U N I T Y An emplyer r persn in a psitin t hire, can help by prviding special cnsideratin when hiring fr a new psitin. A phne call t the yuth inviting them t apply, help with a written applicatin, caching fr a jb interview are all ways t help. Supprtive adults can ffer a yuth the chance t help with yard wrk, husecleaning, babysitting, etc. in rder t earn extra mney and t establish a wrk reference. H O U S I N G H U N T Securing a first apartment is a rite f passage t adulthd. But withut guidance, finding husing can turn int an verwhelming experience. Yuth leaving care ften lack references r a c-signer which a supprtive adult may be able t ffer. Frmer fster yuth may have pprtunities fr financial assistance, but may need help lcating it r applying fr it. Als, supprtive adults can utilize apartment hunting as an pprtunity t discuss ther daily living challenges, like rmmates, utilities, selecting a neighbrhd, transprtatin t jb and needed services, etc. R E C R E AT I O N A L A C T I V I T I E S Extending an invitatin t a yuth t g bike riding, g bwling, sht sme hps r t simply take a walk can prmte health, relieve anxiety, and prvide a cmfrtable way t cnnect. Recreatinal activities like cking, wdwrking, painting r playing guitar can prvide an utlet fr yuth and help t develp skills. Other activities include ging t a mvie, playing cards r chess r Mnply, taking phtgraphs, ging shpping r taking a shrt trip. M E N T O R Mentrs have prven t be an effective influence n yuth. Whether a frmal r infrmal mentr t a yuth in care, the supprtive adult can be a rle-mdel, cach and a friend. T R A N S P O RTAT I O N Yuth ften need help with transprtatin and may have n ne t turn t. A supprtive adult can be a transprtatin resurce, specifying the limits f the ffer, i.e. fr schl, t find emplyment, fr medical appintments, t visit relatives, etc. Yuth can ften use help t figure ut hw t use public transprtatin. the natinal netwrk fr yung peple in fster care Permanency Pact 2006 FsterClub, Inc r Permissin t cpy and distribute is granted as lng as this dcument remains entirely intact and is nt altered.
5 E D U C AT I O N A L A S S I S TA N C E Accrding t statistics, nly 50% f fster yuth will graduate frm high schl. These shcking statistics shw that many yuth in care struggle thrugh schl against terrible dds including multiple mves, learning disabilities, lack f parental supprt and missed time in class. A supprtive adult can help by becming a tutr, an educatinal advcate, r by simply prviding advice when needed. Yuth planning t attend cllege can use help with cllege applicatins, finding financial aid, and visits t perspective cllege campuses. R E L AT I O N S H I P / M A R R I G E / PA R E N T I N G C O U N S E L I N G Yuth cming ut f fster care ften lack the skill t cultivate and maintain lasting persnal relatinships. In many cases, rlemdeled relatinships fr the yuth have included bilgical parents with dysfunctinal relatinships and paid caretakers frm grup hmes r facilities. Supprtive adults can prvide frank discussins abut relatinships, marriage, the rle f a spuse and hw t be a gd parent when the time cmes. A S S I S TA N C E W I T H M E D I C A L A P P O I N T M E N T S / C H A P E R O N E It can be scary attending a medical appintment all alne. A supprtive adult can accmpany a yuth t a medical appintment r rehearse what questins t ask, interpret a dctrʼs instructins, r prvide advice abut btaining a secnd pinin. C L O T H I N G A yuth may need assistance and/r advise in purchasing r preparing clthing fr events like a jb interview, weddings r special ccasins, r graduatin. Smetimes special pprtunities need special gear, like a schl ski trip, a cstume party, etc. A supprtive adult can assist with laundry, irning, mending, shpping fr new clthes, r ccasinally purchasing a new item. Imprving a yuthʼs persnal appearance can bst self cnfidence. S P I R I T UA L S U P P O RT Yuth ften develp the same spiritual beliefs as their parents. Yuth cming frm care may have lacked this spiritual guidance. A supprtive adult can invite a yuth t jin them as they search fr their wn spiritual path. The adult can ffer t explre religin with the yuth and invite them t participate in church r ther spiritual activities. L E G A L T R O U B L E S A yuth emerging frm care wh gets int legal truble usually cannt affrd legal advice. When yuth have a tangle with the law, they ften land in deeper truble because f their lack f experience and resurces in navigating the legal system. A supprtive adult can assist by cnnecting yuth t needed legal services. The supprter may als wish t prvide preventative advice t the yuth wh may be headed fr legal entanglement. S T O R A G E Smetimes the life f a yuth can be transient, mving frm lcatin t lcatin befre getting settled. The supprtive adult can prvide a safe place t stre valuables and help ensure that the yuth desnʼt lse track f valuables, including pht albums, family keepsakes, and recrds. M O T I VAT I O N Everyne des better with a persnal cheering sectin. The supprtive adult may be the nly ne t ffer encuraging wrds t a yuth. S O M E O N E T O TA L K T O / D I S C U S S P R O B L E M S When a yuth transitins ut f care, there are ften mments f insecurity, lneliness and anxiety. The supprtive adult can prvide a listening ear fr a yuth t vent, ffer advice and wisdm, r be a sunding bard fr ideas. It may be wise t establish calling hurs t avid late night r early mrning calls, if that is a cncern. A P H O N E T O U S E Smetimes a phne is simply nt an affrdable luxury fr a yuth starting ut n their wn. A supprtive adult culd prvide use f their phne as a message phne fr the yuthʼs prspective emplyers r landlrds. Use f the phne can be helpful t keep in tuch with casewrkers, siblings, parents, frmer fster parents, r t access resurces in the cmmunity. A C O M P U T E R T O U S E Access t a cmputer is a valuable tl fr a yuth fr schl wrk, emplyment r husing search, r cntact with siblings r ther relatives. A supprtive adult can prvide this access frm a cmputer at wrk r at hme, and may want t establish limits in time, websites visited, r dwnlads that are acceptable. JJ frm Michigan, FsterClub All-Star Permanency is a feeling that is different fr everyne, it is nt bund by time nr can it be measured. It has t be discvered and ften times it has t be tested, and rejected mre than nce befre permanency can be established. Permanency is s hard t understand because it is a cnceptual idea f an emtin and is received n bth ends very differently fr every persn. There is n straight by the bk definitin f permanency because the emtins I feel cannt be felt by anyne else, and that s the great thing abut it. C U LT U R A L E X P E R I E N C E Supprtive adults wh share a cultural backgrund with a yuth may wish t engage them in cultural activities. Even if the cultural backgrunds are diffferent, the yuth can be mtivated t participate in cultural events. Supprt can be given t examine cultural traditins and beliefs and encuragement given t take pride in their cultural identity. A PA RT M E N T M O V E - I N Mving is s much easier with the supprt f friends, frm packing, t manpwer, a truck t mve, t help setting up the new apartment. The supprtive adult can als invite the yuth t scut thrugh their garage r strage area fr extra furniture r husehld items that might be useful. the natinal netwrk fr yung peple in fster care Permanency Pact 2006 FsterClub, Inc r Permissin t cpy and distribute is granted as lng as this dcument remains entirely intact and is nt altered.
6 C O O K I N G L E S S O N S / A S S I S TA N C E Many times yuth cming ut f care have nt had the pprtunity t practice cking n their wn. Meal preparatin is ften a natural way t engage in meaningful cnversatin and build a relatinship. The supprtive adult may decide t take a yuth grcery shpping, r help stck the yuthʼs first kitchen with a starter supply f utensils, spices, cleaning supplies and fd. H E L P W I T H R E A D I N G F O R M S, D O C U M E N T S, A N D C O M P L E X M A I L Many yuth in care have learning disabilities which may make cmplicated reading assignments all the mre difficult. The supprtive adult can make arrangements fr a yuth t cllect materials fr review n a weekly basis r t give a call n an asneeded basis. R E G U L A R C H E C K - I N ( DA I LY, W E E K LY O R M O N T H LY ) Simply knwing that smene will be aware that yu are missing, hurt r in truble is imprtant. A supprtive adult can instigate regular check-inʼs with a yuth transitining ut f care, easing feelings f anxiety and building cnfidence that smene is cncerned abut their safety. B I L L S A N D M O N E Y M A N A G E M E N T A S S I S TA N C E Srting thrugh bills and balancing a checkbk can be a particularly daunting task fr a yuth with a learning disability, deficient math skills r experience. Understanding hw t maintain and btain credit, deciphering lan applicatins, and budgeting are sme f the items where a supprtive adult can lend help. D R U G A N D A L C O H O L A D D I C T I O N H E L P A high percentage f yuth in care have parents wh had drug r alchl dependency prblems. Wrking with yung peple transitining ut f care t avid these dangerus pitfalls and ffering supprt if a prblem shuld develp culd help break a familial cycle f addictin. Sharde frm Indiana, FsterClub All-Star Permanancy is imprtant because if yu spend yur entire life mving arund it desn t give yu a chance t get clse t anyne, and yu dn t learn hw t build thse essential relatinships yu will need later in life. Mving arund als influences yu t run away frm yur prblems. M E C H A N I C A L A N D / O R B U I L D I N G P R O J E C T S Yuth may need help keeping an autmbile in gd repair. Teaching a yuth abut the care f their car can help them build self-cnfidence and skills that can last a lifetime. Helping a yuth fix up their apartment r a rented hme, r asking fr their assistance in prjects arund yur hme, can teach new skills which may be put t use thrughut life. H O U S E K E E P I N G Sme yuth, particularly thse wh have lived in a residential facility r restrictive envirnment, may nt have had real-life experience in keeping a hme clean. The supprtive adult can discuss cleaning supplies t use fr particular husehld chres, hw t avid disease, and rganizatin f clutter nce a yuth has transitined t their wn hme. H O M E D E C O R AT I N G Helping a yuth decrate their hme can be a fun and rewarding way t cntribute t the yuthʼs sense f pride and self esteem. V O T I N G Yuth in ur sciety ften frm their first plitical impressins based n their parentsʼ plitical beliefs. Yuth in care ften d nt receive this rle mdeling. A supprtive adult may wish t discuss current lcal, state and natinal issues, help a yuth register t vte r take a yuth t the plling lcatin t vte. V O L U N T E E R I S M Vlunteering t help thers r fr a wrthy cause is an excellent way t build self-esteem. Supprters can ffer t engage a yuth in their wn gd wrk r embark n a new vlunteer effrt tgether. M E N TA L H E A LT H S U P P O RT Sme yuth in care suffer frm mental health challenges. Depressin, attentin-deficit disrder, eating disrders, and ther illness may afflict the yuth. It is suggested that the supprtive adult educate themself abut any mental health disrders that are at issue. C O - S I G N E R Many times yuth need c-signers t acquire husing, car lans, r bank accunts (particularly when the yuth is under 18 years ld). Cnsider the financial liability if the yuth were t miss payments r nt fulfill the financial agreement. It is suggested that an adult wh acts as a c-signer clsely supervise the arrangement until the yuth has established a cnsistent pattern f respnsibility. F I N D I N G C O M M U N I T Y R E S O U R C E S Navigating thrugh the maze f gvernment agencies and myriad f scial service prgrams is difficult at best even fr a resurceful adult. The supprtive adult can help the yuth make a list f useful resurces in the cmmunity and ffer t visit them tgether. S A F E T Y A N D P E R S O N A L S E C U R I T Y The yuth transitining frm care needs t take charge f their wn persnal safety. The supprtive adult can encurage them t take a self-defense class, get CPR certified, get current n health and safety issues. The adult can take a tur f the yuthʼs apartment and make suggestins regarding hme safety, can help develp an evacuatin plan, and make plans with the yuth n what t d in an emergency situatin. The supprtive adult can ffer t be called when smething ges wrng, and ffer t be listed as persn t cntact in an emergency n business frms. the natinal netwrk fr yung peple in fster care Permanency Pact 2006 FsterClub, Inc r Permissin t cpy and distribute is granted as lng as this dcument remains entirely intact and is nt altered.
7 B A B Y S I T T I N G If the yuth is a parent, babysitting services can be the relief that is needed t keep a yung family intact. In additin t prviding a time-ut, the ffer t watch a child while the yung parent gets ther chres arund the huse accmplished (laundry, cleaning, etc.), prvides an excellent pprtunity t rle-mdel gd parenting skills. E M E R G E N C Y C A S H Mst f us have experienced a cash shrtage at ne time r anther as a yuth. Yuth cming frm care usually lack this imprtant safety net. The supprtive adult may wish t discuss up frnt their cmfrt level in supplying financial assistance. They wuld discuss what cnstitutes an emergency (nt enugh t cver rent? a medical emergency? cash fr a date? gas mney?). A D V O C A C Y Smetimes yuth have a difficult time speaking up fr themselves in curt, at schl, with gvernment systems, etc. Supprtive adults can help a yuth rganize their thughts, speak n their behalf, r assist in writing letters. I N C L U S I O N I N S O C I A L C I R C L E / C O M M U N I T Y A C T I V I T I E S Often yuth in care have difficulty frming new friendships and relatinships when they leave care. A supprtive adult can extend regular invitatins t the yuth t attend scial and cmmunity gatherings as an pprtunity t frm new friendships and make cnnectins with peple. Gd pprtunities t make new friends include family weddings, hiking trips, garden clubs, cmmunity service prjects and vlunteer pprtunities, dances, sprting events, debate grups, cmmunity cllege classes, etc. R E F E R E N C E Many applicatins, including thse fr cllege, husing and jbs, require a list f references be prvided by the applicant. If the supprtive adult is able t give a psitive reference fr a yuth, they shuld make sure a yuth has their current cntact infrmatin s that the supprter can be included n their list f references. A D O P T I O N Even fr many lder yuth, including thse ver the age f 18, adptin remains a dream. An adult wh is able t ffer this ultimate permanent cnnectin fr a yuth may make an initial ffer t adpt thrugh a Permanency Pact. Often yuth may have fears abut adptin, interpreting adptin t mean lss f cntact with bi parents r siblings (this shuld be taken int cnsideratin when discussing this ptin). Yuth wh nce declined t be adpted ften change their minds, s an adult may want t renew the ffer frm time t time. Abut FsterClub FsterClub is the natinal netwrk fr yung peple in fster care. Every 2 minutes, a childʼs life changes as they enter the fster care system. There are mre than 513,000 yung peple living in fster care acrss the cuntry, and FsterClub is their club a place t turn fr advice, infrmatin, and hpe. Our peer supprt netwrk gives kids in fster care a new spin n life. At FsterClubʼs web sites, kids are asking questins and getting answers: is fr yung peple and is designed fr yuth transitining frm care. FsterClubʼs gateway fr adults wh supprt yung peple in fster care is Our publicatins supply yuth with tls fr success and als prvide inspiratin and perspective frm their peers wh have successfully emerged frm fster care. FsterClubʼs training and events are held acrss the cuntry and feature a dynamic grup f yung fster care alumni called the FsterClub All-Stars. Outreach tls designed t imprve cmmunicatin with yung peple in care and engage them in achieving their wn persnal success. The members f FsterClub are resilient yung peple determined t build a better future fr themselves and fr ther kids cming up thrugh the system behind them. Their success depends n the genersity f cncerned individuals and cllabratins with partner rganizatins. If yu wuld like t learn mre abut FsterClub r hw yu can supprt yung peple in fster care, visit r call FsterClub is a 501(c)3 nn-prfit rganizatin. EIN The pinwheel is an enduring symbl f the happy, carefree childhd all kids deserve. Fr mre than 513,000 yuth living in the U.S. fster care system, childhd has been interrupted by abuse, neglect r abandnment. FsterClub s peer supprt netwrk gives kids in fster care a new spin n life by prviding infrmatin, resurces, encuragement and hpe. the natinal netwrk fr yung peple in fster care Permanency Pact 2006 FsterClub, Inc r Permissin t cpy and distribute is granted as lng as this dcument remains entirely intact and is nt altered.