Texas Youth Permanency Study

Texas Youth Permanency Study

The Texas Youth Permanency Study (TYPS) examines the long-term outcomes and opportunities of youth in the Texas Foster Care System. Specifically, the study seeks to understand the quality of relationships developed by youth in care and identify factors that help youth sustain strong and supportive relationships when they exit out of foster care. Relational permanency is defined as lasting, loving and accepting relationships with parental figures such as foster, adoptive and birth parents, as well as siblings, friends, extended family and dating partners. Enduring connections, emotional support and a sense of belonging are associated with increased social emotional wellbeing and resilience when former foster youth tackle the challenges of adulthood.

The Texas Youth Permanency Study (TYPS) is designed as a 5-year longitudinal study  following 500 foster youth who are 14 – 21 years old at time of recruitment. Participant recruitment occurs at child welfare courts across Texas. Click here for a current map of participating courts. The recruitment window will be approximately one year, from July 2019 – December 2020. We are continuing to reach out to additional courts to ensure representation of youth from diverse geographic areas.

Texas Youth Permanency StudyData collection involves quarterly on-line surveys completed by all youth and in-depth annual interviews with a randomly selected subsample. After the initial survey at time of enrollment, youth will be contacted every 3 months to update their information and complete quarterly mini-surveys (5 – 10 minutes), respectively more comprehensive annual surveys (20 – 30 minutes). Click here for a List of Measures.

The study has been approved by the IRB at UT Austin and the Department of Child and Protective Services.

Research Questions

  1. How do foster care experiences in adolescence shape developmental outcomes (safety, education, health, life skills, vocation) in emerging adulthood?
  2. To what extent do foster youth develop stable and nurturing relationships and sustain these relationships in emerging adulthood?
  3. Does the legal outcome of the case (adoption, reunification, permanent legal guardianship or aging out of care) impact developmental outcomes and relational permanency in emerging adulthood?
  4. How does relational permanency impact developmental outcomes during emerging adulthood?


  1. Design policies and services to enhance relational and physical permanency for youth
  2. Honor youth voice and choice in their journey through the child welfare system
  3. Use evidence to guide funding of what works for youth


Interested in staying up to date with TYPS?


TYPS 2022 Research Report – A New Model for Promoting Wellbeing in Child Welfare: Prioritizing Relational Permanency, Normalcy, and Competency

Over the past 3 years, our Texas Permanency Study has followed 197 youth in foster care to discover what helps them thrive in adulthood. Our final report shows that supporting better outcomes in emerging adulthood means:

  • Prioritizing lasting connections with caring adults, peers, and community
  • Providing an environment conducive to normal and developmentally appropriate social experiences
  • Supporting the development of competency through experiential learning
  • Increasing social emotional wellbeing through mental health services and sexual health and relationship education


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Read more in our full 2022 report!

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Read our executive summary here!

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the concept of normalcy in child welfare!