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Permanency Specialist

Position Function: Provides permanent planning and placement to abused and neglected children. This position is legally responsible for a child’s welfare in the position that the child is removed from their home. The Permanency Worker monitors the child’s care while in care. They work closely with parents, extended family, and legal parties to help children find a permanent, safe, place to live. The position recruits, trains, studies, licenses, and develops foster and adoptive homes for the program. Additionally, provides support to families and children dealing with separation and attachment issues in preparation of permanent placement. The position may participate in abuse and neglect investigations related to foster and adoptive families.


Education: Bachelor’s degree, in a human services field, is required.

Experience: Two years experience working within human services required. Case management experience is preferred.

Functional: Knowledge of good child placement practices. Skills in preparing children for permanency. Skills in developing and maintaining professional working relationships. Ability to support families dealing with separation and attachment issues. Ability to access child’s needs and process in the placement progress. Ability to maintain timely documentation and effectively manage caseload.  Knowledge of agency policies, procedures, and regulations. Knowledge of laws and regulations to child care, abuse, and neglect. Ability to assess current life situations of children to determine the presence of child abuse or neglect. Ability to articulate an understanding of the intersection between race and poverty and the different outcomes and conditions that exist among specific groups as compared to other groups due to unequal treatment of services. Ability to negotiate available services. Ability to gather, assemble, correlate, and analyze facts. Ability to prepare clear and concise reports. Ability to travel locally, within the region, and out of state, as needed, to best support clients and client needs. 

Working Conditions: Position includes interaction with parents, guardians, and conservators as well as to youth with behavioral problems, including possible physical aggression.  A personal vehicle is required for travel. Out of state travel may be a requirement of this role. The position is sensitive to the service population’s cultural and socioeconomic characteristics.

Exposure to Confidential Information: The Permanency Specialist will have access to confidential records including youth files, foster care and adoption records, and foster parent information. Must maintain confidentiality and follow policies related to personnel records and client records.

Key Expectations/Responsibilities:

  • Maintain high ethical standards which are outlined in the ACH Child and Family Services Code of Ethics.
  • A commitment to empowering others to solve their problems.
  • Value a nurturing family as the ideal environment for a person.
  • A conviction about the capacity of people to grow and change.
  • The ability to establish a respectful relationship with persons served to help them gain skills and confidence.
  • The ability to work collaboratively with other personnel and/or service providers and professionals.
  • The capacity to maintain a helping role and to intervene appropriately to meet service goals.
  • The ability to set appropriate limits.
  • Performs other duties as assigned and required to maintain unit operations.
  • Attends work regularly in accordance with agency leave policy.


  • Receives cases from investigators after children from their homes placed in CPS conservatorship and placed in care outside their home.
  • Determines each child’s needs and ensuring that appropriate referral for testing, evaluations, records, or further assessments are made.
  • Ensures all services are focused on achieving positive permanency.
  • Identifying potential permanency resources for the child through ongoing contact with parents, family members, and other individuals the child and family identify as important to them.
  • Searching for potential kinship providers throughout the case.
  • Meets with the parents to assess risk and safety issues, identify behavior changes necessary to achieve child safety, referring parents to appropriate services to address the identified needs to move towards positive permanency.
  • Discusses with parents their progress towards making changes to behaviors that pose dangers to their child(ren).
  • Collaborates with a Placement Team, including Kinship staff, for placements, as needed.
  • Participates in meetings and conferences at times and places convenient for the family members, as well as everyone involved with the case.
  • Visits child(ren) monthly to assess the child’s feeling of safety in their current home to plan for permanency, and to discuss their needs, wishes, and progress while in care.
  • Attends and participates in court hearings about the child and family. This includes contacting the parties in the case before hearings, preparing court reports, and testifying in court on the child’s needs, the family’s progress, and the department’s efforts to achieve permanency.
  • Keeps the child’s parents, caregivers, court-appointed attorney and guardian ad litem(s) informed about the child’s circumstances and significant events. 
  • Works with the department’s attorney to prepare for contested-court hearings and trials.
  • Works with kinship caregivers and foster parents to ensure that they have what they need to care for the child or youth placed with them. Ie; keeping them informed about developments of case, returning phone calls, and in some areas of the state being available 24/7 at certain times.
  • Transitions children home during reunification services and provides support to the family until the legal case is closed.
  • Supervises adoptive placements until the adoption is final.
  • Documents case records by completing forms, narratives, and reports to form a written record for each client.

Training and Supervision:

  • Attend continuing education necessary to expand knowledge and maintain certifications or licenses.
  • Communicate regularly with supervisor and seek supervision when appropriate.