Accelerated Permanency Project Technical Report | A Project Focused Primarily On Youth Age 12 Or Older Who Have APPLA/OPLA As Their Case Goal

Casey Family Programs is partnering with eleven counties to conduct the Multi-Site Accelerated Permanency Project (MSAPP).

The project focuses primarily on youth age 12 or older who have APPLA/OPLA as their case goal, which includes over 700 youth across the four states. The objectives of MSAPP are to:

  • Implement permanency roundtables
  • Assess caseworker/supervisor attitudes towards permanency, organizational climate and culture
  • Improve permanency outcomes (such as adoption, reunification, legal guardianship)
  • Document the contextual factors that impact the level of success of the projects
  • Share and generalize lessons learned from the project and evaluation with other jurisdictions

Data collection and evaluation activities were collected in a Technical report prepared in August 2013.

Report Summary

The project was developed to increase legal permanency rates for older youth in foster care through the use of Permanency Roundtables. Permanency generally is defined as reunification, adoption, or guardianship.

A permanency roundtable is a structured meeting intended to establish legal permanency for youth by involving internal and external experts (the PRT team). A roundtable includes an oral case presentation, a rating of the child’s current status, brainstorming about current barriers to permanency and development of a specific action plan.

This report outlines the project that focused primarily on youth age 12 or older who have APPLA/OPLA as their case goal, which included over 700 youth across the four states. Among its findings:

  • One year after the roundtables, 8.5 percent of the youth achieved legal permanency. The vast majority of the youth (61.6 percent) were still in care, 27.0 percent had exited state custody, and 2.9 percent had run away.
  • Youth who had at least one positive, lifelong connection to an adult were significantly more likely to achieve permanency.
  • Youth whose action plans included a psychosocial, psychological, or psychiatric evaluation to determine their needs, suggesting that they had emotional or behavioral problems, were less likely to achieve permanency.
  • For youth who were still in care 12 months after the PRT, permanency status increased and the restrictiveness of living situation decreased. However, the number of positive adult connections did not increase.
  • Given the relatively low rate of achievement of legal permanency within 12 months of the roundtables, it can be concluded that the structured meetings were not particularly effective for this population. Nevertheless, jurisdictions report that the roundtables have caused staff to have a greater awareness of the definition of legal permanency and the importance of permanency.