Outcomes for permanence and stability for children in long-term care: practice guidance

SCIE Social Care Online
National University of Ireland. The UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre
Publication date:
01 January 2017


This practice guide builds on recommendations from the research project ‘Outcomes for Permanence and Stability for Children in Long-Term Care’ and focuses on how to improve outcomes for permanence and stability for children in care. It provides insights based on a study of two counties in Ireland and provides advice how the learning from the research can be used to inform practice with children in care, their families and foster families. Key messages from the research included: the identification of three core enablers for stability for children in care: relationships, communication and support; the importance of continuity of care; and use of a socio-ecological framework to plan and evaluate services. The guide is organised in the following sections: understanding permanence and stability; impact of pre-care experiences; in-care experiences of relationships; placement instability and breakdown; and after care. For each section, the guide summarises the key messages and recommendations from the research and provides suggestions on how they can be implemented in practice.