Defining Permanency

Permanent Placement Options are those placements which result in a child or youth; who has been removed from the home, having a permanent home, family and relationships. Studies and experience have taught us that the bond between parents and children is such that most children strive to be with their families; even in cases of severe abuse. For this reason, the most important Permanent Goal option is to return children and youth home to their parents.

The permanent goal of Return Home is pursued throughout a Dependency and Neglect case, even when other permanent placement options are being reviewed as alternatives. This practice; known as Concurrent Planning, allows Denver Human Services to pursue all options which will support the parents in their healing and growth and maintain family and community connections for the children.

In addition, Denver Human Services works diligently to develop Permanent Relationships for children and youth in placement. Permanent relationships are those relationships between a child/youth and a viable adult that last throughout the child’s life. Sometimes family members and friends cannot become a permanent placement for a child or youth but can maintain permanent relationships that support their moving through placement and are maintained throughout their lives.

Permanent goals:


When a child or youth cannot be returned to the parents Denver Human Services pursues one of several other permanent placement goals. These include: Permanent Placement with a Relative, Allocation of Parental Responsibility (also known as Allocation of Parental Rights or APR), and Adoption. All of the listed goals lead to permanent families for children.

What is Permanency Planning?



Permanency Planning is the process of determining which permanent goals are the best for a child or youth removed from the home and finding permanent homes and relationships for these children. Permanency planning begins as soon as a child or youth is removed from their parents and continues throughout the course of the life.

Denver Department of Human Services begins a search for all living relatives and kin when the case is open as part of our Intensive Family Finding Efforts. This is so that we can engage the relatives in the Permanency Planning process with the intention of finding possible relative placements and adoptions. This effort has been successful and we have been able to successfully reunite many children and youth with “lost” family members.

In addition to relatives, other appropriate adults and family friends may engage in permanent relationships with children and youth in placement. These relationships are encouraged and supported by Denver Human Services as they provide support and comfort to our children and youth. Call us at our Adoption/Foster Care Hotline at 720-944-4000 if you are interested in engaging a child/youth in placement and want to engage in the Permanency Planning process.

Permanency and the Court

Permanency Planning of a child is overseen by the Denver Juvenile Court. Many potential adoptive parents and family members may attend court hearings because they have a vested interest in a child and the progress of the family. This is particularly true of family members and friends supporting the family through a Termination Hearing. We understand that the court process can be overwhelming and confusing. A document called, Understanding the Dependency & Neglect Court System“; which defines many of the terms one would encounter in a hearing and the roles of the various players, is available by clicking here