Permanency Planning

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permanency planning

Refers to a movement, which developed in the 1970s, to either return foster children to their biological homes or terminate parental rights and place the child for adoption. This movement led to the ADOPTION ASSISTANCE AND CHILD WELFARE ACT OF 1980, which mandated permanency planning for all states.

Prior to this time, most older children who were placed in foster care remained in the system until they "aged-out" at 18 years old. Caseworkers began to realize that children over age eight were adoptable and there were also families for children in sibling groups, handicapped children, minority children and other categories of children previously considered UNADOPTABLE.

Subsequent to the passage of the ADOPTION AND SAFE FAMILIES ACT IN 1997, many states increased efforts to find permanent homes for foster children who could not be safely returned to their families of origin. (See also FOSTER CARE; FOSTER PARENT; FOSTER PARENT ADOPTIONS; SPECIAL NEEDS.)

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