What is permanency and why is it important for children and youth?

A simple way of defining permanency for children/youth is stability but it is much more than that. Permanency for children/youth is an expansive term defined as positive healthy, nurturing relationships with adults who provide support (emotional, financial, moral, educational, and other kinds) and unconditional commitment over the course of a lifetime. Without permanency children/youth suffer serious and detrimental consequences. Ideally, permanency takes the form of a relationship that has a legal component that provides a parent-child relationship. This provides children/youth with stability they require in order to flourish and find their way in the world.

 The Adoption Council of Canada’s definition of permanency includes kinship care, customary care (alternate care in Saskatchewan), legal guardianship and adoption. Permanency provides a safe, stable and life-long committed relationship for children and youth. The role of cultural competency in permanency is critical for the identity and well-being of children and youth.

The Adoption Support Centre supports this definition of permanency.

There are over 30,000 children/youth in government care in Canada. The number of children in government care in Saskatchewan is in the thousands. These children have a right to permanency.