Implementation of Intensive Permanence Services: A Trauma-Informed Approach to Preparing Foster Youth for Supportive Relationships

  • Seventy F. Hall
  • Annette Semanchin Jones


Youth in foster care who have histories of grief, loss, and placement disruptions need trauma-informed programs that can help them maintain stable and consistent connections with supportive adults. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of staff who implemented a trauma-informed model called Intensive Permanence Services (IPS). We conducted qualitative interviews with staff (N = 7) who developed and implemented the IPS model and reviewed agency documents to identify the key characteristics of the model, the strategies staff used in their work with youth, and the challenges they faced to implementing IPS. Findings highlight these critical components: (1) using a youth-driven approach that prioritizes accountability to the youth and youth empowerment; (2) adopting an organizational culture of well-being using strategies such as secondary traumatic stress education, peer support, and structured supervision; and (3) promoting systems change for improved collaboration with all stakeholders, including the youth, families, caregivers, and other service providers. Overall, our findings stressed the importance of adopting a more holistic, trauma-informed, and youth-driven approach to improve permanence and well-being for youth in care.


Foster youth Supportive connections Intensive Permanence Services Youth-driven Trauma, grief, and loss 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University at Buffalo School of Social WorkBuffaloUSA

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