The Right to a Permanent Home: Stopping Foster Care Drift

A Permanent Home book cover

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

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The Problem 4
The Cost of Delay 8
Bonding, Attachment, and Adjustment 9
The Effects of Foster Care Drift 14
The Rights of Children 18
Legislation, Policy, and the Courts​​​ 21
Legislation​​ 21
Child Welfare Policy 27
The Courts 31
Current Initiatives 39
Recommendations for Change​​​ 42
Legislation 42
​Child Welfare Policy​ 43
The Courts​ 44
Foster Parents​​​​​ 45
Conclusion 45
References 46
Table of Cases 50