Articles Tagged technical

  • Network Comes Together at Fall Quarterly Meetings

    For the first time since the onset of COVID-19 in March 2020, the SWAN/IL Quarterly Meetings took place in-person throughout regions of the Commonwealth, infusing a spirit of connectedness for which the network is often characterized. As Carrie Keiser, Director, Division of Programs, Office of Children, Youth and Families declared in her opening remarks, “It is SO good to be back together!”

    More than 850 attendees gathered at six regional locations and online for ...

    Posted on November 17th, 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Bethany Christian Services Keeps Parents Connected During Pandemic

    2020’s pandemic challenges have made way for creative solutions to keep agencies, children and parents connected. One example of pandemic-inspired innovation is Bethany Christian Services’ move to virtual support groups, which they began to offer in May 2020 when it appeared that COVID would indefinitely extend restrictions on in-person meetings.

    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
  • 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
  • COVID-19 Directives Continue

    The SWAN prime contractor will continue the important measures put in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 until otherwise directed by the Department of Human Services/Office of Children, Youth and Families (DHS/OCYF). 

    Posted on April 3rd, 2020
  • Update on Response to COVID-19

    On March 17, we notified you regarding measures taken by the SWAN prime contractor to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The SWAN prime contractor will continue these important measures through April 3, 2020 or until otherwise directed by the Department of Human Services/Office of Children, Youth and Families (DHS/OCYF).

    Posted on March 27th, 2020
  • Impact of and Response to COVID-19

    On March 16, 2020, per the directive of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Department of Human Services/Office of Children, Youth and Families (DHS/OCYF), the SWAN prime contractor took measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. 

    Posted on March 17th, 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
  • IL Retreat Promotes Connection and Permanency

    Each year, the Independent Living Project organizes a retreat for older youth, which is held in August at the University of Pittsburgh – Johnstown campus. This year, the program featured a multitude of events, including sports, crafts, cooking, and many more activities to promote teambuilding and connection for the youth who attend the event.

    Posted on September 13th, 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