Achieving permanence for children is an underpinning principle of the legislative framework in Wales and of all social work practice with children and families. Choosing the right kind of permanence is so important. It relies on a sound understanding and analysis of the child’s needs and circumstances, as well as the different permanence options available and what they offer.
Making the right decision for each child requires us to consider realistic options for permanence and ultimately this option will provide the kind of parenting to meet the child’s needs and will assist with their recovery from trauma – not just now but for their lifetime. For some children, permanence can be achieved through successful return to their family, where it has been possible to address the factors in family life which led to the child becoming looked after. For other children, routes to permanence may include care provided by family and friends, particularly when such care can be supported by a legal order. And for some children who are unable to return to their parents or wider family, adoption offers a lifelong and legally permanent new family.