Articles Tagged family, page 1

  • New SWAN Unit of Service: Family Matching

    The prime contractor is pleased to announce the release of the first new SWAN unit of service in 20 years: Family Matching. This service is available to the affiliates for referral as of July 1, 2022.

    Family Matching focuses on engaging potential resource families who are waiting to be matched and developing their capacity to provide successful permanency. The Family Matching unit includes ongoing efforts in these areas as well as activities to identify a ...

    Posted on August 8th, 2022
  • New Family-Friendly Resource to Promote Post-permanency Services

    SWAN has been providing Post-permanency supports to families for over two decades. These services, which include case advocacy, respite and support groups, are available free of charge to Pennsylvania families formed through adoption, formalized kinship or permanent legal custodianship.

    With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and other societal struggles, many Pennsylvania families are experiencing additional stress. The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services/Office of Children, Youth and Families (DHS/OCTF) wants eligible families to know SWAN ...

    Posted on March 29th, 2022
  • Meet Rachel Kuhr: Permanency Scholar, Mentor and Advocate

    As we look forward to this summer’s Pennsylvania Permanency Conference, we invite you to get to know 2021’s Permanency Professional Award recipient, Rachel Kuhr. If you’ve ever been to a SWAN conference, statewide meeting, or central region quarterly meeting, you know Rachel. If she’s not sharing her knowledge as a presenter, she is listening intently – usually while crocheting – and asking all the right questions to achieve clarity and improve service delivery for children in out-of-home care.

    Posted on March 28th, 2022
  • Permanency Team Honored for their Dedication to a Special Three-Year-Old Boy

    Three-year-old Angel has had a unique journey to permanency. Medical needs, distant placements, and a global pandemic created some challenges for his team to solve. However, Heather Miller, Christina Cross, and Barbara Black were up to the task. These women worked tirelessly, along with the support of numerous other team members, to help Angel find his home—a place where he could have his first birthday and Christmas celebrations in a true family setting. They ...

    Posted on January 14th, 2022
  • Meet the Marshalls: Playing for Keeps

    When it comes to caring for older youth, Dana and Bill Marshall “play for keeps.” Whether permanency comes in the form of formal adoption or custody through a more informal arrangement, the Marshalls consider every youth who has entered their home to be family. Older Child Matching Initiative (OCMI) Recruiter, Marian Kolcum, witnessed their love and dedication first-hand through the family’s adoption experience with their son, Dean. Marian nominated the family ...

    Posted on January 13th, 2022
  • 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
  • Rates Changes and New Unit of Service Announced at 2021 SWAN Summer Statewide Meeting

    In her opening remarks to the network at the 2021 SWAN Summer Statewide Meeting, Carrie Keiser, Director, Division of Programs, Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF), highlighted adjustments to payment rates for SWAN units of services for service referrals made during the state fiscal year 2021-2022. The payment rates are defined in OCYF Bulletin 3350-21-02, released to the network on June 30, and archived in the SWAN Permanency Toolkit ...

    Posted on August 16th, 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
  • Attendance Rates Increase, Connections Maintained through Virtual Events

    It’s been nearly one year since the COVID-19 pandemic brought in-person gatherings to an abrupt halt causing the network to shift standard events and meetings to a virtual format. While there are drawbacks and we miss the richness of face-to-face interactions, a silver lining has been the ability for more members to participate in network events and for connections among the network to be maintained.

    Posted on February 9th, 2021
  • Coming in February: Second Virtual Statewide Child Preparation Activity Swap

    Building on the success of last year’s first virtual Child Preparation Activity Swap, a second event is planned for February. The activity swap facilitates the exchange of ideas about child preparation activities among child preparation workers. The February event will feature activities related to the holidays.

    Posted on February 9th, 2021
  • “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
  • National Social Work Month: Celebrating those who Strengthen Generations

    March 17th is known for the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day and all things Irish, but this year it was also a special day for our profession. The entire month of March is National Social Work Month with the third Tuesday celebrated as World Social Work Day. For 2020, the National Association of Social Workers chose the theme “Generations Strong” to honor how social workers build healthier

    Posted on March 31st, 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