SOUL Family Permanency Option

SOUL Family

A proposed permanency option designed by youth in foster care

The SOUL Family Permanency Option is a new legal permanency option designed by and for young people in foster care. Intended for youth ages 16 and older as they transition from foster care to adulthood, this program will empower youth at this crit­i­cal devel­op­ment stage with the anchor of a nur­tur­ing, life­long connections and family. In partnership with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Kansas has stepped up to be the first state in the nation to turn this innovative new permanency concept into a legal reality for young people.

Approximately 20,000 young individuals exit foster care every year without a permanent family, leaving them without support. The SOUL Family Permanency Option would provide these youth with a legal connection to at least one caring adult, ensuring a strong support system as they transition into adulthood.

This legal connection differs from adoption or guardianship in that it allows young people to establish new connections without severing legal ties with birth parents and siblings. When reunification with birth family is no longer a viable option but maintaining relationships with loved ones and community is desirable and healthy, SOUL Family Permanency Option offers an alternative pathway.

KVC Kansas and a network of statewide partners are collaborating to build the understanding, resources, services, and administrative and legal infrastructure needed to make SOUL Family a legal permanency option.

To learn more about the SOUL Family Permanency Option, visit Children’s Alliance of Kansas.