Articles Tagged adoption

  • Governor Wolf Proclaims November Adoption Awareness Month

    Governor Wolf’s November 2021 Adoption Awareness Month proclamation encouraged “citizens across the commonwealth to recognize the importance of adoption and make every effort to ensure that all children in Pennsylvania have a safe, loving place to call home.”

    Posted on November 22nd, 2021
  • Giving Back, Former Recipient Style

    When you hear that someone has been involved with fundraising for a foster care agency for the past six years, you may think they are a former foster youth who is now in a position to give back to those who helped them in the past. Well, Cayden Roth, who was honored with SWAN’s 2021 Youth Advocate award, is a former foster youth, but this young man ...

    Posted on November 3rd, 2021
  • The Langsdorfs: A Family Formed by Fate

    One summer morning at the Renzie Park Farmers Market in McKeesport, Heather and David Langsdorf noticed an information booth for Auberle, a faith-based social services agency that was recruiting foster parents. Heather always wanted to be a foster parent, so they immediately went over to the booth to learn more. Without hesitating, Heather and David decided to apply to be foster parents and were certified in Fall 2018. They ...

    Posted on November 3rd, 2021
  • Honoring Permanency: The Fritz Family

    Each summer, the Pennsylvania Permanency Conference recognizes permanent families who inspire hope, challenge barriers, and share stories of commitment and love. Helen and Andy Fritz are one of the amazing families honored at the 2021 conference. The couple was nominated by Katie Kalp of Children’s Home of York, who noted that Helen and Andy support the best interests of each child by remaining open to safe and healthy ...

    Posted on November 2nd, 2021
  • A Dream Come True

    Adoptee Dalton Bacco’s dream to provide children in foster care with opportunities to spend valuable time with caring individuals was brought to life by his parents, Frank and Kerri Bacco. The Baccos founded the Living the Dream Fund after Dalton’s sudden and tragic passing in 2017 as a way to honor Dalton’s life and carry on his spirit of generosity. The Fund was recently recognized with ...

    Posted on August 16th, 2021
  • SWAN Legal Training Team Continues Virtual Presentations Through Fall

    SWAN’s team of legal training specialists (LTS) has spent the past year converting and fine-tuning presentations, adapting from in-person presentations to a virtual training format to continue delivering high-quality legal trainings to child welfare professionals across the state of Pennsylvania. We were excited to see that our online trainings have been “virtually” just as popular as in-person presentations. Our team has had ...

    Posted on July 21st, 2021
  • SWAN Mini-grant Funds Creative Virtual Events

    As a team with primarily social work or counseling backgrounds, technology can sometimes pose a learning curve; however, at The Children’s Home & Lemieux Family Center, we are lucky that our team is always up to the task. In November, we were able to use a National Adoption Month mini-grant to host COVID-19-safe virtual events and connect with families who wanted to learn more about foster care and adoption.

    Posted on February 26th, 2021
  • PAE Adapts Virtual “Waiting Child” Tapings

    The nationwide COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us that change is constant, but change can also be a catalyst for learning and improvement. Since March 2020, the Pennsylvania Adoption Exchange (PAE) has had to adapt the “Waiting Child” segments to be filmed remotely to mitigate the spread of the virus. The flexibility of this format provides even more opportunities to feature the voices of waiting children and youth and ...

    Posted on October 26th, 2020
  • “Permanency is Not on Hold”: Creative Solutions for Matching During COVID-19

    Social distancing guidelines may have temporarily altered how Pennsylvania is conducting adoptions in 2020, but it has not slowed the progress of the Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN). Matching events, like so many other gatherings, were forced to move to an alternative format due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Regardless, the Pennsylvania Adoption Exchange (PAE) is excited about family-child connections continuing to be made and the future opportunities that virtual matching meetings present for waiting children.

    Posted on October 26th, 2020
  • Youth, Caseworkers Promote PRTs at IL Retreat

    The merits of the Casey Family Permanency Roundtable (PRT) process were on full display at the 2020 Older Youth Retreat, held August 10-14. “Everyone works together to help you, make you whole, help you to see the remarkable person you are. I love the PRT process because it’s all about the youth,” exclaimed Maria Graziano, IL coordinator for Luzerne County, sharing her enthusiasm for the PRT process and the benefits for older foster youth.

    Posted on October 26th, 2020
  • Permanency Professional Honored for Perseverance and Passion

    Connie Snyder has been a frontline worker with Warren County Children and Youth for 13 years. In that time, she has found forever families for 64 children. While the number is itself impressive, Connie’s drive to never give up, even on the hardest-to-place children, even when her supervisor might say it’s time for plan B, is what is most impressive. Last summer, Connie received the Permanency Professional Recognition Award at the Pennsylvania Permanency Conference for her outstanding work.

    Posted on April 8th, 2020
  • Centre County Orphan Care Alliance Gives Meaning to “Care Community”

    Imagine voicing one of your greatest needs and having a network of caring individuals respond in force.  Recently, a Centre County birth mother pursing reunification reported running out of firewood for winter heating. The Centre County Orphan Care Alliance (CCOCA) sprang into action ...

    Posted on February 18th, 2020
  • The McCleerys: A Family Built Through Connection and Compassion

    Adoption had been on the minds and hearts of Katie and Tobias McCleery for a long time. After the birth of their third child, they knew their family still had room to grow and that adoption would be their path forward. In 2012, the McCleerys became foster parents through Bethany Christian Services and welcomed their son Tyler into the family shortly after.

    Posted on January 6th, 2020
  • Millers Create Large, Warm, Loving Family

    Brooke and Tierra Miller always knew they wanted a big family. Both grew up in large, warm and loving families, and they wanted to provide the same experience for their own children. After discussing the options available to them to make that happen, they decided to become foster parents. 

    Posted on December 13th, 2019
  • Families, Agencies Invited to Attend Winter Statewide Meeting Matching Reception

    The Department of Human Services, Office of Children, Youth and Families, Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN) and Independent Living Services (IL) will sponsor a Matching Reception on January 22, 2020 from 6 - 8:30 p.m. at the 2020 SWAN/IL Winter Statewide Meeting, held at The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center, State College. 

    Posted on December 13th, 2019
  • SWAN Affiliates Invited to Join SWAN Farm Show Exhibit

    The 104th Pennsylvania Farm Show will take place January 4 - 11, 2020 at the Farm Show Complex and Expo Center.  The Farm Show is attended by more than 100,000 people each year and offers a unique opportunity to recruit foster and adoptive families.  SWAN will have a display, and OCYF invites all SWAN affiliates to join in staffing the booth each day.

    Posted on December 13th, 2019
  • Love Builds a Happy, "Starr-Filled" Home

    No matter how a family is built, love is the foundation. And in the home of Tim and Renae Starr, there is plenty of love to go around. At the 2019 Pennsylvania Permanency Conference, Tim and Renae – and their six children – took the stage to accept a Permanent Family Recognition Award from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, Office of Children, Youth and Families. The scene brought tears to the eyes of many audience members.

    Posted on December 5th, 2019
  • National Adoption Month Celebrates, Promotes Families for Foster Children

    For 35 years, November has been designated as a time of celebration of adoptive families throughout the nation. In Pennsylvania, child-serving agencies, courts and communities take time out to honor families formed through adoption, reflect on lives of parents and children forever changed, and rally for the children still waiting for a family to call their own.

    Posted on November 20th, 2019
  • Youth Advocate Grounded in Family, Faith and Focus

    For 16-year-old Alex Isbell, this season’s drop in temperatures and leaves signals one thing: running. Alex is training and competing for the East Pennsboro High School Girls Cross Country team. “Cross country helps me feel better about myself,” she says, “I get butterflies in my stomach every meet because I really want to do well and hit my goals.” While her running goals continue to push her out of her comfort zone, Alex finds support and friendship within her team. “We’re really fun and spirited, and we encourage one another,” she shares, “It’s very much like a family.”

    Posted on October 29th, 2019
  • Juvenile Justice Week: JCJC Collaboration Strengthens Joint Training

    As Juvenile Justice Week (October 6 – 12, 2019) is recognized in Pennsylvania, a collaborative training workgroup is taking a joint training titled Shared Case Responsibility: Maximizing Quality of Care for Children & Youth in the Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Systems into the final stretch of development. This group is comprised of SWAN prime contract staff and professionals from the Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission (JCJC).

    Posted on October 16th, 2019
  • Lehigh County Foster Children Picnic Heats Up the Fun

    Despite the heat on July 19, nearly 100 children enjoyed the Fun Day Picnic, planned and hosted by Lehigh County Children, Youth and Family Services. Children of all ages attended, including those in out-of-home placement, children from other counties in local foster homes, Valley Youth House residents, and foster families’ biological children. The “hottest” features were a DJ, pizza, and a photo booth, all of which were donated or discounted.

    Posted on October 1st, 2019
  • Proposals Invited for Annual Permanency Conference

    The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, Office of Children, Youth and Families; the Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network; and Independent Living Services invites interested parties to submit workshop proposals for the 28th Annual Pennsylvania Permanency Conference. The submission deadline is October 25. The conference will be held June 17–19, 2020 at Kalahari Resorts and Conventions in Pocono Manor, Pennsylvania.

    Posted on October 1st, 2019
  • Educator Provides Permanency to Student Sibling Set

    It takes a village to raise a child, as the saying goes, and in the best-case scenarios, children and youth who seek permanency resources need look no further than their own village. Debbie Hiller represents a unique subset of this village: teachers and educational professionals. Recently, Ms. Hiller took some time to talk about the experience and process of adopting her three children.

    Posted on September 11th, 2019
  • New Tools for Post-Adoption Contract Agreement (PACA) Conversations

    Two new voluntary PACA information sheets have been developed as tools to help facilitate conversations with older youth and families. Voluntary Post-Adoption Contact Agreements: An Explanation for Youth is written to use with youth while Voluntary Post-Adoption Contact Agreements: An Explanation for Families is to begin discussion with birth relatives and pre-adoptive families.

    Posted on March 22nd, 2018
  • SWAN Permanency Toolkit Released

    The Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN) is pleased to announce the release of the web-based SWAN Permanency Toolkit, an online resource guide about adoption and permanency practices in PA.  In it, you will find permanency-related topics such as the SWAN units of service and benchmarks, online trainings, statistics about children in out-of-home care, relevant foster care and adoption laws and bulletins and regulations issued by the Department of Human Services, Office of Children, Youth ...

    Posted on May 1st, 2017