Permanency Planning for Children

What is Permanency Planning for Children?

Permanency planning focuses on achieving family support for children living in an institution by finding them a permanent living arrangement that includes “an enduring and nurturing parental relationship.”

Texas law underscores the importance of children with developmental disabilities living in a family or family-like setting by requiring permanency planning for each child living in an institution.

Texas law defines child as a person with a developmental disability who is younger than 22. Institutions include:

  • nursing facility,
  • intermediate care facility for individuals with an intellectual disability or related conditions (ICF/IID), and
  • a setting that provides residential assistance services through the Home and Community-based Services (HCS) program.

Each child’s service plan must include permanency planning goals that are ongoing and reviewed at least semiannually. The law also requires a child’s name be added to a waiver program interest list appropriate to his or her needs.

It is important for the child and his or her parents, guardians, friends and advocate to be actively involved in the permanency planning process.

If the parent or guardian can’t be located, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) may designate a volunteer advocate to help develop the child’s permanency plan. The child’s parent or guardian also can request a volunteer advocate. A volunteer advocate can’t be employed by or be under contract with the institution in which the child lives. An adult relative of a child or a representative from a child advocacy group also may serve as a volunteer advocate.

Permanency Planning Reports

View Reports


Permanency Planning Training

Brochures, Forms and Tools

A Message for Families Brochures


Planning Instruments

Technical Assistance Tools

These technical assistance tools and materials are provided to assist both the permanency planners and providers in facilitating and understanding the permanency planning process. Any of the tools and materials can be copied and used for training purposes, or when appropriate, given to families participating in permanency planning.

Contact Us

  • For questions about permanency planning in nursing facilities, email Every Child Texas.
  • For questions about permanency planning in ICFs/IID (including state supported living centers) and HCS, email HHSC.