Out-of-home Placement and Permanency

All children need permanent relationships with caring adults to support their healthy development. Research shows that when foster care placement is necessary, children living with families experience better outcomes. Following removal from their homes, children may achieve permanency through reunification, guardianship, or adoption. To promote the safety, permanency, and well-being of children placed in out-of-home care, Child Trends’ team of child welfare researchers: (1) evaluates program and system reform efforts to strengthen reunification, foster care, guardianship, adoption, and post-guardianship and post-adoption services; (2) provides technical assistance to states seeking to enhance services for birth, foster, kinship, and adoptive families; and (3) conducts research to build new knowledge about the placement and permanency experiences of children, youth, their families, and their caregivers.

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