New York Foster Care Orgs Get Grant for Permanency Pact Initiative

Catholic Guardian Services, Good Shepherd Services, and HeartShare St. Vincent’s Services team to launch new Permanency Pact Initiative designed to match lifelong, supportive adults with older teens in foster care

Transitioning into adulthood brings about a number of challenges for all young people, but can be particularly overwhelming for youth in care and those who have aged out of care. Without the benefits of older adults and family to provide guidance and support, foster youth are at a significant disadvantage when it comes to meeting even their most basic needs: finding a place to live, preparing for a job, becoming financially literate, and feeling secure and loved. Permanency Pacts provide young people with a responsible adult who has pledged to provide ongoing support and guidance as they navigate adulthood.

Developed by Foster Club of America, Permanency Pacts create a formalized, facilitated process to connect youth in foster care with supportive adults who then choose from 45 specific supports that they agree to provide — from offering a place to spend the holidays, to career counseling, house hunting, and offering spiritual guidance.

The Redlich Horwitz Foundation has provided funding of approximately $500,000 over two years to support the agencies as they work with older teens in foster care with a permanency planning goal of “Another Planned Permanent Living Arrangement” (APPLA) to identify adults able to provide a lifelong connection. You Gotta Believe will be designing and delivering training to the young people and adults to support these relationships as they develop, and an evaluation and case study will also be produced.

It is the goal of the Initiative to demonstrate how Permanency Pacts can be useful within the Solutions Based Casework model and across all agencies in the NYC child welfare system so that no young person ages out of foster care alone.