What Family Means to a Child

25 Things a Permanent Family Connection Can Mean to a Child or Teen

from Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services Permanency Guide (originally developed by Alameda County Social Services Agency and the California Permanency for Youth Project)

In its Call to Action, the Guide says that long-term foster care is no longer an acceptable plan for a child or youth. Few tragedies are greater for a child than being separated from a parent. The loss is compounded when family, friends, school and community are also lost. A child’s life is turned upside down and set adrift in foster care, unable to return home and with no other adult willing to commit. Achieving timely permanency through reunification, adoption or legal guardianship for every child in out of home care is a top priority. It is critical, it is urgent and it is achievable.

For a child, a permanent family can mean…

 

1. LIFELONG RELATIONSHIP

2. FAMILY

3. FRIENDSHIP

4. UNCONDITIONAL LOVE

5. ONGOING SUPPORT

6. EXTENDED FAMILY-LIKE RELATIONSHIP

7. KNOWING THAT SOMEONE CARES

8. CONTINUITY

9. SOMEONE TO GO HOME TO

10. SHARING LIFE’S UPS AND DOWNS

11. SOMEONE TO CALL ON IN TIMES OF CRISIS

12. SOMEONE TO CALL ‘JUST BECAUSE’

13. BEING THERE

14. DEFINING FAMILY TOGETHER

15. SHARING HOLIDAYS

16. CELEBRATING SPECIAL TIMES TOGETHER

17. SOMEONE TO CHECK-IN WITH REGULARLY

18. SHARED HISTORY

19. ASSISTANCE AROUND MAJOR DECISIONS

20. GROWING AND CHANGING TOGETHER

21. BEING ACCEPTED NO MATTER WHAT

22. SOMEONE TO TRUST

23. HAVING SOMEONE TO STAND BY YOU

24. KNOWING SOMEONE IS PROUD OF YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS

25. KNOWING THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE

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