• 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.

    Under Act 101 of 2010, a voluntary PACA is a legally enforceable agreement made between the adoptive parent(s) and birth relative ...

    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
  • Presenting the Practice - November Units of Service Meeting for SWAN Post-Permanency Services

    The topic of the November Post-Permanency Units of Service Meeting was exploring the four Post-permanency units of service.  Affiliate workers in attendance had the opportunity to share their activities and ways their agencies work with families who call Helpline for services.

    Case Advocacy is the primary unit of SWAN Post-Permanency services; 97 percent of families who call for services have been referred for case advocacy.  Affiliate workers and families develop a Family Support Plan to ...

    Posted on January 3rd, 2017
  • Presenting the Practice — December SWAN Units of Service Meeting

    Sue Wandolowski from KidsPeace shared a recent child-specific recruitment (CSR) case that reminds us we must do all we can to make sure youth who age out of care have connections, even though they often deny this need.  KidsPeace was working with a 19-year-old youth who went back into care after a failed adoption.  The youth “was successful and on the straight and narrow and looked to be in a good position to age out ...

    Posted on December 30th, 2016
  • Presenting the Practice - September 2016 SWAN Units of Service Meeting

    As part of the ongoing effort to share ideas from across Pennsylvania at the Units of Service (U.S.) meetings, we are featuring this “Present the Practice” segment.  Practices from agencies across Pennsylvania will be highlighted in this newsletter after each U.S. meeting.  Below are some ideas that agencies shared with attendees of the September 2016 meeting.



    Sheri Menichello from Children’s Service Center talked about having in-depth discussions with county agencies about ...

    Posted on December 13th, 2016
  • Presenting the Practice — September Units of Service Meeting for Post-Permanency Services

    One of the topics of the September Post-Permanency Units of Service Meeting was recognizing secondary trauma or compassion fatigue.  Affiliate workers at the meeting were given the opportunity to share some of their self-care techniques and ways their agencies work proactively with their employees to combat secondary trauma.  Some of those include:

    • Group supervision – These meetings enable workers to share cases and receive a variety of feedback from one another.  Diverse opinions help them see ...

    Posted on November 29th, 2016
  • Fiscal Year 2015–16 Closes With a BANG!

    Congratulations to the Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network!  At the close of state fiscal year 2015–16, we have referred the entire SWAN needs-based budget allocation—and then some!  We have assigned to affiliates county-referred SWAN services worth $35,105,000.  Affiliates referred $797,500 in family profiles, and $3,371,500 were referred for Post-permanency services—all applied to work directly with families and children.  In total, almost $40,000,000 of SWAN services ...

    Posted on July 19th, 2016
  • Highlights From the 24th Annual Permanency Conference

    Nearly 700 people gathered at the Kalahari Resorts & Conventions in Pocono Manor, Pa. last month for the 24th Annual Pennsylvania Permanency Conference. The theme of the 2016 conference, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services/Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF), was Bravery • Courage • Triumph, qualities overwhelmingly shown by the families and children in attendance.

    The 2016 SWAN/IL Summer Statewide Meeting kicked off the conference on Tuesday, June 14, with 354 ...

    Posted on July 5th, 2016
  • 2016 Pennsylvania SWAN/IL Permanency Conference — We’re Moving!

    Conference_logoGet ready for a refreshing change of scenery — and what a gorgeous view!

    The Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network/Independent Living 24th Annual Pennsylvania Permanency Conference will be held in a breathtaking new location:  the Kalahari Resorts & Conventions in the Pocono Mountains!

    Join us from June 15 to 17, 2016 in Monroe County, PA, for an inspiring and enjoyable experience!  The Kalahari offers fun for the whole family, including indoor and outdoor waterparks, an ...

    Posted on December 2nd, 2015
  • SWAN Post-Permanency Video

    Diakon/FDR’s video about SWAN Post-Permanency services features families sharing their stories about how the services impacted their lives.  This video is available on the SWAN prime contract website at at the bottom of the page.

    The video will help families learn more about SWAN Post-Permanency services. Affiliates can use the video to highlight services available throughout the permanency process, including during resource family training.

    The video is the ...

    Posted on August 27th, 2015
  • Two Ways to Contact Helpline

    Helpline is the single point of contact for families to access SWAN Post-Permanency services at 1-800-585-7926 (SWAN).

    Now, in addition to phone contact during normal business hours, families can also contact the Helpline during non-business hours by email at  Email inquiries are answered promptly and can help families access needed services during non-traditional working hours.

    During normal business hours, Helpline staff continues to assist families, lets them know if they are eligible ...

    Posted on August 27th, 2015
  • National Post-Permanency Conference held in Tennessee! by Pam Wagner

    I recently attended the National Adoption Support and Preservation Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, where it quickly became very clear that in today’s world collaboration is the name of the game.

    The conference included professionals from across the country dedicated to providing and advocating for services that support adoption preservation and permanency for all families.  Attendees included therapists, administrators, county children’s services workers and adoption professionals, to name a few.   All worked together to ...

    Posted on August 5th, 2015
  • 2015 SWAN/IL Summer Statewide Keynote Speaker

    “Troubled Teen to Teacher of the Year" was the headline when Dr. Debra Peppers was one of only five inducted into the National Teachers' Hall of Fame.  Dr. Peppers will speak at the morning general session of the 2015 SWAN/IL Summer Statewide Meeting on June 23 at the Lancaster Host & Convention Center.  The title of her talk will be “Someone’s Hero.”

    A university instructor and TV/radio host, Debra has authored and co-authored ...

    Posted on June 10th, 2015
  • 23rd Annual Pennsylvania Permanency Conference Keynote Speaker

    Travis Lloyd’s inspirational story will be the closing keynote address at the Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network’s 23rd Annual Pennsylvania Permanency Conference on Friday, June 26, 2015. 

    Having experienced and overcome foster homes, homeless shelters and a stay in an adolescent mental health unit enables Travis to offer hope, not only to audiences across the country, but to his own community.  As a former hopeless youth who feared his lifestyle would lead ...

    Posted on June 10th, 2015
  • Out of State Families Registered with PAE

    The Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) requires the use of cross-jurisdictional resources to facilitate timely adoptions or permanent placements for waiting children. 

        The SWAN Helpline works closely with Adopt US Kids and out of state families asking about Pennsylvania’s waiting children.  As a result, approximately 25% of Pennsylvania’s 1,200 registered waiting adoptive families are from out of state.

        All children deserve every opportunity to achieve permanency.  State lines should not be ...

    Posted on February 9th, 2015
  • 2014 Adoption Awareness Grants

    Once again for November’s National Adoption Month, the Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF) set aside $50,000 for adoption coalitions and agencies in Pennsylvania to host adoption awareness events that focus attention on adoption.  The number of proposals submitted this year doubled from last year – with a total of 39!  Seventeen county agencies and 22 private, nonprofit agencies or coalitions are excited and ready for their events to begin as early as ...

    Posted on November 10th, 2014
  • “It was a Dark and Stormy Night”

    While this might be one of the most cliché first lines in novels, it also describes the start of the 22nd Annual Pennsylvania Permanency Conference.   The night before the conference a quick but powerful storm ripped through Lancaster County.  In its wake power was lost to much of the Lancaster area, including the Lancaster Host, home of the permanency conference.  Power was lost as well as water, flushing “essentials,” electricity and air conditioning.  It ...

    Posted on September 3rd, 2014
  • 2014 SWAN/IL Summer Statewide is Almost Here!!!

    In two weeks the 2014 SWAN/IL Summer Statewide will be underway!!!   This year promises to be better than ever with a nationally recognized keynote speaker and a number of exciting workshops. 

    Debbie Riley is the keynote speaker for this year’s event.  Debbie will present “Beneath the Mask: AdoptionThrough the Eyes of Adolescents.”  The talk will examine how adolescent adoptees struggle with an extra layer of challenges about their identities, their future and their ...

    Posted on June 20th, 2014
  • 2014 SWAN/IL Winter Statewide

    On January 22 and 23rd the annual  SWAN/IL Winter Statewide meeting was held in State College, PA at the Penn Stater hotel.  While the weather was a little snowy, it was a huge success!   Over 436 participants were present!  The Keynote for this event was Dr. John Seita.  Dr. Seita is a youth who grew up in the system and has gone on to be a strong voice for youth in care.  His ...

    Posted on June 19th, 2014