It is important that children with disabilities live in a family or family-like setting rather than an institutional setting. Permanency planning is a philosophy and planning process that focuses on achieving family support for individuals under 22 years of age by facilitating permanent living arrangements that include an enduring and nurturing parental relationship.
Since September 2001, Texas law has required permanency planning for all individuals under 22 years of age who reside in certain types of "institutions" which include, but are not limited to:
Placement of a an individual under 22 years of age in an institution (as defined above) is considered temporary and approval for the individual to reside in the institution must be obtained every six months.
It is important that an individual along with his or her parents, guardians, and friends and child advocates are actively involved in the permanency planning process. Goals are identified and reflected in an individual's service plan that must be reviewed every six months.
In addition, the law requires an individual's name to be placed on a waiting list for waiver services and his or her name must remain on the waiting list until he or she is 22 years old or enters waiver services.
Lastly, the law provides a volunteer advocate for an individual. The advocate's role is to assist the individual in the permanency planning process, if an individual's parent or guardian requests the assistance of an advocate or his or her parent or guardian cannot be located. A volunteer advocate may be selected by:
For more information about permanency planning, please e-mail:
Debbie Reece, Program Specialist
Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services
For additional information on children's services in health and human
service agencies, please contact:
Terry Beattie, Director, Services for Children with Special Needs
Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Updated: July 2, 2012