Topic: Post-Permanency Services

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 Post-Permanency Services:

Post-Permanency Services are defined by the CEBC as those services that ensure the continuing stability, safety, and well-being for children and youth who have moved from the temporary custody of the child welfare system into a permanent legal arrangement with committed caregivers. These arrangements may include reunification with the child's birth parents or adoption or legal guardianship by relatives (kinship care) or non-relatives. Many of these post-permanency services are developed as part of the planning process prior to the attainment of legal permanence. These services meet the unique and ever-changing needs of children and the families that care for them and may include information and referral; education (e.g., parenting skills, advocacy skills with school systems, etc.); clinical and therapeutic services; access to material resources; and access to community-based supportive networks (e.g., support groups, recreational activities, and respite care).

These services are provided through referrals to community-based agencies many of which provide services through contractual arrangements that the child welfare agency has in place.

  • Target population: Families and youth who have been reunified with their birth family or who have exited the child welfare system into a permanent placement
  • Services/types that fit: Services that include assessment, case planning, case management, education, and/or skill building
  • Delivered by: Child welfare workers, mental health professionals, or trained paraprofessionals
  • In order to be included: Program must specifically target families and children who have been reunified or have entered a permanent placement
  • In order to be rated: There must be research evidence (as specified by the Scientific Rating Scale) that examines permanency-related outcomes, such as disruptions, re-entries to care, and maltreatment reports

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.

One Program with a Scientific Rating of 2 - Supported by Research Evidence:

  • Homebuilders®
    Families with children (birth to 18) at imminent risk of placement into, or needing intensive services to return from, foster care, ...

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

Why was this topic chosen by the Advisory Committee?

The Post-Permanency Services topic area is relevant to child welfare because these services are lacking in many child welfare systems. Child welfare systems have substantially increased the number of foster children that reunify or attain legal permanence through adoption and legal guardianship due to the passage of the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) of 1997 and the mandate for timely permanency. However, less attention has been paid to address the continuing needs of former foster children and the families that have committed to a permanent connection. It is well-known that access to services for these children and families tend to be less available than they were when the child was in the formal system. All the while, the needs for these services and supports may remain the same or even increase as children and families go through different developmental and life cycle changes.

In order to support continuing stability, safety, and well-being and prevent unnecessary re-entry into the foster care system, child welfare agencies and their community partners need to provide an array of accessible and timely services that are uniquely tailored to their needs (e.g., kinship care services). Special consideration to cultural, linguistic, and ethnic aspects should be taken, given the large numbers of youth and families of color impacted by child welfare systems.

Jorge Cabrera
Senior Director
Casey Family Programs
San Diego, CA

Topic Expert

The Post-Permanency Services topic area was added in 2009. Peter Pecora, PhD was the topic expert and was involved in identifying and rating any of the programs with an original load date in 2009 (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 2009 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.