Articles Tagged youth, page 1

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • “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
  • SWAN/IL Summer Statewide Meeting Generates Socially-Distant Engagement

    For the first time, the SWAN/IL Summer Statewide Meeting went virtual. To ensure safety due to COVID-19, over 800 people from across the network participated in the meeting via Zoom, rather than in-person.

     

    Posted on July 9th, 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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