What Happened to CPYP?
At the completion of the CPYP’s funding cycle, we merged with the Center for Family Finding and Youth Connectedness, founded by Kevin Campbell, hosted by Seneca Center. The intent was to combine the best of what Kevin and CPYP had to offer, to learn and grow together, and to integrate the work into a self-sustaining operation. This partnership was assisted by a bridge grant from the Stuart Foundation.
What did CPYP Accomplish?
The California Permanency for Youth Project (CPYP) grew from an idea in 2002 by Pat Reynolds-Harris to promote better permanency practice, policy and procedure for foster youth in danger of exiting foster care without a lifelong connection to a caring adult. Pat incubated this idea as a Senior Program Officer at the Stuart Foundation, and following the 1st National Youth Permanency Convening in 2002, CPYP was created via funding from the Stuart Foundation in January of 2003. Pat retired from the Stuart Foundation to accept the position as Director of CPYP.
Over its 7 year existence, CPYP collaborated with 20 county child welfare sites and provided training, coaching, and technical assistance to find permanency for older youth, and to start to change the conditions so that permanency is more quickly found for identified youth.
The combined “study” groups of youth during this period totaled 276 (at least three detailed reports were filed by social workers about each youth’s connections and progress to the CPYP evaluation consultant, Craig Evans).
During the periods of the study, county workers helped to establish 206 permanent connections for these youth (most of the youth had been in care for many years, were in group home settings, suffered through multiple placements, were not visiting or did not even know of their family, and would not likely to have developed permanent connections without these efforts). This data only reflects results during the measurement periods—many more of these youth had potential connections identified during the study period, but time elapsed before these potential connections evolved into permanent connections and thus could not be reported.
Sibling connections were improved for 123 youth in the second and third study cohorts (sibling connectedness was not measured in the first study group). Many of these stories included youth discovering they had siblings and meeting them for the first time, or reconnecting after many years of separation. These were some of the most inspirational stories of connection, as well as of regret that the sibling relationships were severed.
50 youth achieved legal permanency during the study periods—again, many more potentially achieved legal permanency following the submission of the final surveys.
The combined pilot groups (counties often sought to employ these methods outside of the group intensively studied, and reported basic outcomes from the work) totaled 594 youth, with 370 youth forming permanent connections during the study periods.
Therefore, a grand total of 576 youth were documented to have created permanent connections to caring adults as a result of these efforts. We know this is only a subset of what actually occurred due to the time and resource limitations impacting data collection. As a reminder, we defined a permanent connection as “An adult who consistently states and demonstrates that she or he has entered an unconditional, lifelong parent-like relationship with the youth. The youth agrees that the adult will play this role in his or her life.” We required that the youth, the adult, the social worker and her or his supervisor agree that the relationship met this definition before we counted it as such.
Where are the CPYP Resources?
For a more complete summary of CPYP accomplishments, evaluation reports and resources found on the CPYP website, visit our resources page.
What is Next for CPYP?
We have renamed ourselves as the National Institute for Permanent Family Connectedness (NIPFC) and are continuing to work towards finding a forever family for every child in care.