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Permanency Innovations Initiative

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families' (ACF) Children’s Bureau supports the Permanency Innovations Initiative (PII) to fund new approaches for improving outcomes for children and youth in foster care, specifically by reducing long-term foster care.  The PII funds partnerships between state and local public child welfare agencies, non-profits, and universities to implement demonstration projects designed to help connect children and youth who have long stays in foster care with safe and permanent homes.

The program’s six grantees are developing or enhancing permanency services for specific populations known to have disproportionately long lengths of stay in foster care, including Native American and African-American children; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual youth; children with severe emotional disturbances; and children affected by trauma.

Through this Initiative, HHS aims to improve the outcomes for subgroups of children with the most serious barriers to permanency, while also investing in building the evidence base for future programs to implement and adapt.  The six projects, awarded a total of $77 million over five years, began with an intensive planning phase, and over the next five years will transition into the implementation and evaluation phases to test innovative approaches and develop knowledge about what works to improve outcomes for these children and youth using a random assignment study.  Site-specific and cross-site evaluations will be conducted by an external evaluator, who will also provide evaluation-related technical assistance and data support to the grantees.