All families who live in Pennsylvania and provide permanency through adoption, whether or not they adopted a child from the child welfare system, even if the adoption was a private or international adoption, are eligible for post-permanency services through the Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN). In addition, formal kinship or permanent legal guardianship families who step forward to provide permanence to a Pennsylvania foster child are eligible for SWAN post-permanency services. These services are provided without charge through SWAN.
The services available are case advocacy, respite and support groups, and each lasts for six months. The focus of this program is to help the family identify their strengths, establish goals and locate community resources for ongoing support after a family completes the SWAN services.
The services are family-driven and families can access them by calling the SWAN Helpline at 1-800-585-7926 or by email at SWANHelpline@diakon-swan.org. The Helpline personnel gather information from the family, which is sent to the affiliate (agency) they choose, so the family won’t need to repeat their story when they meet with their new worker. Helpline will help a family choose a nearby affiliate if they don’t already know of one. Once an affiliate is selected, a referral is made and the affiliate’s worker will contact the family within a week.
SWAN’s post-permanency services include an assessment that helps the family identify their strengths and needs, develop goals and a family support plan that will help them meet their goals. This assessment will also help decide which units of services – case advocacy, respite and support group - should be requested. All family members, including birth children, are eligible for these SWAN services.
Case advocacy focuses on making sure the family has the community resources that best meet their needs. These may include attending meetings at school with the family, facilitating collaboration with other service resources so everyone is working together, identifying and coordinating support services to help the family meet their goals.
The respite unit of service supports eligible families by developing resources to alleviate the pressures of parenting children with special needs. This unit focuses on developing competent resources to provide a continuum of care either in the home or out of the home--resources that will continue to be available beyond SWAN funding.
Support groups provide parents and children a chance to get together with other families and youth dealing with similar issues. Members of support groups are communities offering mentoring, education, socialization and recreational activities. All of them offer opportunities for families to share their challenges and successes in providing permanency to a child. Frequently support group members support each other by providing informal respite.
SWAN’s post-permanency brochure promotes Pennsylvania’s free post-permanency services that are available to any adoptee (including private or international adoptions), permanent legal custodianship, or formalized kinship family in Pennsylvania. It describes the process for how to access these services and briefly describes each. You may copy and distribute the brochure as you need.
SWAN’s post-permanency video describes the free post-permanency services available to all Pennsylvania families who are providing a home for a child or youth through adoption (including private or international adoptions), permanent legal custodianship, or formalized kinship. The video briefly describes each SWAN post-permanency service and provides information about how to access them. A variety of families who have actually used these services talk about their experiences and how they benefited after they took that first step and called for services. If the video below does not load, please click here to view the video.