Topic: Permanency Enhancement Interventions for Adolescents

Scientific Ratings in this topic:

1 - Well-Supported by Research Evidence

2 - Supported by Research Evidence

3 - Promising Research Evidence

4 - Evidence Fails to Demonstrate Effect

5 - Concerning Practice

NR - Not able to be Rated

Learn more about the scale

Definition for Permanency Enhancement Interventions for Adolescents:

Permanency Enhancement Interventions for Adolescents are defined by the CEBC as interventions to increase the timely achievement of permanency for adolescents by locating one or more adults that will care for the child or youth up to and beyond the age of 18. The interventions reviewed for this area are designed to address the various barriers to permanency for adolescents including emotional or behavioral disorders that may be present in the youth, no availability of a caring adult in the youth's life, and court or other legal delays to achieving permanency. Note: Many states offer a subsidized guardianship program to enhance permanency through establishing legal guardianship of children in foster care, please click here for more information about these types of programs.

  • Target population: Child and youth in out-of-home placements
  • Services/types that fit: Services that include caregiver recruitment efforts and/or intensive searches for family members as well as services to address the needs of these youth and support youth in permanent placements
  • Delivered by: Child welfare workers, mental health professionals, or trained paraprofessionals
  • In order to be included: Program must specifically target youth permanency as a goal
  • In order to be rated: There must be research evidence (as specified by the Scientific Rating Scale) that examines permanency-related outcomes, such as exits from out-of-home care, family connections, or placement disruptions

Programs in this Topic Area

The programs listed below have been reviewed by the CEBC and, if appropriate, been rated using the Scientific Rating Scale.

Three Programs with a Scientific Rating of 3 - Promising Research Evidence:

Three Programs with a Scientific Rating of NR - Not able to be Rated:

Why was this topic chosen by the Advisory Committee?

The Permanency Enhancement Interventions for Adolescents topic area is relevant to child welfare because research studies point to the linkage between successful youth development and the quality of relationships with family of origin, kin, and other significant adults. Yet, the child welfare system has historically focused on preparation for adulthood for adolescents in the foster care system through independent living and life skills attainment. This focus has proven to be inadequate given what we know of the poor outcomes that emancipated youth experience (e.g., homelessness, criminal involvement, substance abuse, etc.). Although there are many issues that underlie poor adult outcomes for former foster youth (e.g., unresolved trauma, mental health needs, etc.), assisting youth to secure lifelong connections becomes a critical programmatic component for child welfare agencies that, along with other key supports, can significantly alter the youth's life trajectory and improve outcomes.

Jorge Cabrera, Senior Director
Casey Family Programs
San Diego, CA

Topic Expert

The Permanency Enhancement Interventions for Adolescents topic area was added in 2012. Peter Pecora, PhD was the topic expert and was involved in identifying and rating any of the programs with an original load date in 2012 (as found on the bottom of the program's page on the CEBC) or others loaded earlier and added to this topic area when it launched. The topic area has grown over the years and any programs added since 2012 were identified by CEBC staff, the Scientific Panel, and/or the Advisory Committee. For these programs, Dr. Pecora was not involved in identifying or rating them.