Plummer Permanency Practice Model

Plummer Permanency Practice Model

Teenagers without families are in trouble. Often these teens live in group homes or foster homes. Most of them have experienced trauma beyond what most of us can imagine. Some have moved so many times they can't remember the places they’ve lived, or the people they’ve lived with.

If these teens don’t find families before they leave state care, there is a good chance they will end up homeless or unemployed. The girls are likely to get pregnant at least once before they turn 24. The boys are likely to become parents.

Plummer Home has developed a Permanency Practice Model to help make sure youth enter adulthood with a family unconditionally committed to them. In our foster care and residential programs, every youth's plan includes:

  • Family Search and Engagement: We find and engage parents and family members to decrease youths’ loneliness, strengthen their sense of identity and belonging, increase their family network and develop a safe, permanent parenting relationship. When there is no biological family able to provide that relationship, we recruit new families.

  • Permanency Preparation and Readiness: Because older youth in care often have moved around for years, they may be confused about their personal history and may have internalized the idea that life is a series of temporary stops. We help them clarify their past and prepare to be part of a lifelong family. At the same time, we prepare families to parent and/or have sustained relationships with children who have experienced trauma. We help them understand challenging behaviors that stem from the youth’s life experience so they can help the youth heal and commit to them unconditionally.

    Collaborative Problem-Solving, a Think:Kids evidence-based practice for working with difficult behaviors of youth in care. This practice is based on the understanding that challenges posed by youth in care result from lagging cognitive skills (rather than poor motivation, manipulation, or attention-seeking) and are best addressed by teaching youth the skills they lack (rather than imposing punishment or a reward system). We use this every day.

  • Youth-Guided Teaming: We build a team around each youth, allowing him or her to actively guide planning for family relationships and their future. Teams include parents, relatives and other caring adults as well as professionals. Our teaming approach addresses all areas of youth safety, permanency and well-being and aims to build a network of lifelong relationships that continue after the youth exits the system.

Read more about how we are sharing our expertise with others

2Greene, Ross W., and J. Stuart Ablon. Treating Explosive Kids: The Collaborative Problem-Solving Approach. 2006. Guilford Press: New York.

3Catholic Community Services of Western Washington and EMQ Children and Family Services. Family Search and Engagement: A Comprehensive Practice Guide. 2008.

4Henry, Darla. The 3-5-7 Model of Preparing Children for Permanency. Children and Youth Services Review 27 (2005) 197-212.