Texas Youth Permanency Study

Texas Youth Permanency Study

The Texas Youth Permanency Study (TYPS) examines the long-term outcomes and opportunities of youth, 14 and older, in the Texas Foster Care System.

AMPLIFYING YOUTH VOICE

This Texas Youth Permanency Study seeks to understand the quality and continuity of relationships developed by youth in care and identify factors that support strong relationships that may be sustained as the youth transition into adulthood. We’re accomplishing this by collecting surveys and interviews with youth who are involved in care and following them over the course of 5 years to better understand their personal experiences and provide research evidence that involves their voice.
When parental rights are terminated, the child welfare system faces the monumental task of helping a child work though trauma, grief and loss when helping them find a permanent home. Permanency in the child welfare field is often spoken of in terms of a “forever family.” The assumption is that legal permanency (adoption or guardianship) will provide all the components a child needs to thrive. However, anecdotal and emerging evidence suggests that some children may live in legally permanent homes without ever feeling a sense of connection and belonging, while other children who have experienced frequent moves and placement instability may nevertheless develop strong and lasting connections to foster parents, siblings, birth parents and friends.

Early results from our pilot study suggest that focusing on legal permanency alone may not be sufficient to understand the factors that allow youth in the child welfare system to thrive and grow up to be successful adults. We learned that no matter the permanency outcome for former foster youth, having authentic relationships was key to a successful transition to adulthood. Through our pilot study’s findings, we were able to begin to provide tips to caseworkersmental health professionalsinstitutions that serve foster youthjudgesbirth familiesadoptive families and foster families.

 

Learn more about the study and how to get involved at UTYPS and watch a welcome video at on YouTube