Permanency Planning in Foster Care: A Research Review and Guidelines for Practitioners1
Permanency planning is a systematic, goal-directed and timely approach to case planning for children subject to child protection intervention aimed at promoting stability and continuity. The present paper reviews research into the area of permanency planning within the foster care system, with the aim of promoting research-informed policy and practice. Research published in both journals and books between 1998 and 2005 was reviewed. Exceptions to this were previously published seminal articles and texts that are theoretically and empirically important. The results of the present review indicate that permanency planning is theoretically informed by attachment theory and understandings of child development and identity formation. Decision making should be individualised, timely and culturally appropriate. Children themselves, their parents and carers all need to be involved in planning. Practitioners must be prepared to undertake extensive observation and assessment to serve the best interests of children when making permanency decisions.
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