The Walker Permanency Center (“Permanency Center”) promotes the dissemination of knowledge, best practices, and innovative approaches that advance permanency for children and youth in out-of-home care. The Permanency Center champions both legal and relational permanency, prioritizing efforts that contribute to successful reunification and adoption outcomes, particularly based on the youth’s goal and what is in the best interests of the youth and the family; and build and/or strengthen safe, stable, nurturing relationships between youth and family/caregivers.
Walker’s successes and expertise securing permanency for youth in its programs provide a strong foundation for the work of the Permanency Center. Part of this work includes assisting other providers and state agencies in assessing and gaining clarity about their permanency plans and goals and building internal capacity to reach these goals. The Permanency Center does this through several key activities, including but not limited to: Implementation of the Walker Permanency Practice Model©; Participation in cross-system collaboration with providers, state agencies, and other key stakeholders; and Training and consultation.
Walker Permanency Practice Model©
The Permanency Center supports the adoption of the Walker Permanency Practice Model© (WPPM). The WPPM is a trauma-informed, adoption-competent, culturally- and linguistically-sensitive, assessment-based model. Through implementation of the WPPM, an assigned Permanency Team, typically composed of the clinician, state social worker, attorney, family, and others, shares information to: better understand a youth’s permanency history and current plan; ensure that treatment plans and related activities are designed to promote the youth’s permanency status; and expedite the time it takes for the youth to return to a home setting. In using the WPPM, the Permanency Team completes three tools developed by Walker for the purpose of the practice model: the Walker Permanency Assessment; the research-tested Walker Permanency Rating Tool; and the Walker Permanency Planning Tool. The WPPM increases the knowledge, participation, and responsibility of all parties who are invested—professionally and personally—in a youth achieving permanency, including the youth when feasible.
The Permanency Center advocates collaboration and teamwork through the implementation of the Walker Permanency Practice Model© and creates and supports strategic partnerships and networks to enhance practice and effect systems change. The Permanency Center sponsors cross-system collaboration efforts such as: The Walker Professional Advisory Council; Permanency learning communities focused on principles, practice, partnerships, and policy; and Applied learning experiences and events, including The Urgency of Permanency Fall Forum: Family is at the Heart of the Matter (2016) and The Urgency of Permanency Summit: Galvanizing Commitment and Catalyzing Change (2017).
Training & Consultation
The Permanency Center’s trainings and consultations are tailored to meet the needs of the provider organization or public agency involved. The list below is a sample of current offerings: