Today, the Texas Public Policy Foundation published the paper Eliminating Unnecessary Delays to Child Permanency.

“Most children spend between 13 and 50 months in state care before reaching any final permanency,” said Charissa Huntzinger, director of the Government for the People campaign at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. “Permanency in the form of a stable home and parent-child relationship is integral to the healthy development and overall well-being of a child and the absence of stability can lead to negative long-term outcomes and behavioral dysfunction.

“Permanency has been prioritized in policy but not in practice. Through specific court deadlines, prioritizing family rehabilitation, and emphasizing monitored returns, the child welfare system can help foster youth gain stable biological or adoptive families quicker.”

Key Points:

  • Permanency is important. “Foster care is a temporary setting and not a place for children to grow up,” and parent-child relationships are quintessential to children’s development.
  • On average, depending on the way a child exists state custody, youth will spend about 13 to 50 months in foster care.
  • In current child protective cases, as long as the final permanency trial is commenced within a 12-month deadline, children may remain in foster care and in temporary placements for an indefinite amount of time.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic illuminated that permanency might be jeopardized in emergencies as hearings were rescheduled, parent visitations canceled, and foster placements disrupted.

To read the paper in full, please visit:

Photo by Anna Kolosyuk on Unsplash