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Empowering Youth and Finding Connections: National Adoption Month 2023

November has been a month of adoption recognition for nearly 40 years, beginning with a national adoption week recognition in 1984. Led by the Children’s Bureau, the theme for this year’s campaign is “Empowering Youth: Finding Points of Connection.” which focuses on giving space for youth to have agency and a say in the decisions that impact their lives, as well as embracing and affirming their racial and cultural identities as factors to consider when permanency planning. Governor Josh Shapiro has also issued a proclamation designating November as Adoption Awareness Month for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Since SWAN’s inception in 1992, more than 53,000 adoptions have taken place. SWAN programs have played a foundational role in permanency efforts for children in Pennsylvania. In June, we celebrated the accomplishments of the network and the outstanding stories of families and professionals at the 2023 Pennsylvania Permanency Conference and SWAN/IL Summer Statewide meeting. You can read about the Johnston family, one of those honored, here.

Pennsylvania's recognition of adoption month seeks to increase awareness of adoption issues, brings attention to the need for adoptive families, particularly for teens in the foster care system, and emphasizes the value of youth engagement. As the network plans awareness and celebration events for this month, here are some resources to keep in mind:

National Adoption Month Website 


Adoption Month/Day event planning guidelines and resources from the SWAN Prime Contractor 

Search on events at the SWAN Permanency Toolkit 

Counseling for families interested in adoption through foster care. Adoptive families may self-refer for SWAN Post-permanency services by calling. 

SWAN Helpline
1-800-585-7926 (SWAN) 

Information about foster care and adoption in Pennsylvania, including profiles of waiting children 



Thank you for all your efforts to empower youth, honor their identities, and work to find permanency for all.


Published: Nov. 7, 2023

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adoption adoptive care Conference event family foster foster care IL PA permanency Statewide SWAN youth

Article Links

  1. a proclamation
  2. here.
  3. https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/nam/
  4. SWAN Permanency Toolkit
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