The Right to a Permanent Home: Stopping Foster Care Drift

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By James A. Kenny, PhD, and Peter A. Kenny, JD

1998 – 52 pages Published by ACT Publications ​

Permanence and stability are the most important factors in promoting a child’s growth and maturity. Every child has the right to a permanent home. Society’s failure to provide permanency for foster children has been one of our great failures.

​The rights of the child are paramount. How often have we given lip service to that sentiment and then proceeded to argue the matter of custody between the rights of the birth parents and those of the foster parents, between kinship and bonding. This book deals firt with the importance of bonding in deciding a child’s future. Second, the book summarizes federal and state laws and case law pertaining to foster children and adoption.

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Table of Contents

​​ ​ ​ ​​ ​

The Problem4

The Cost of Delay8

Bonding, Attachment, and Adjustment9

The Effects of Foster Care Drift14

The Rights of Children18

Legislation, Policy, and the Courts​​​21


Child Welfare Policy27

The Courts31

Current Initiatives39

Recommendations for Change​​​42


​Child Welfare Policy​43

The Courts​44

Foster Parents​​​​​45



Table of Cases50