Articles, page 1

  • 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
  • Spring Administrative Updates Posted

    As efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 continue, we want to thank your continued work to support children and families across the Commonwealth. While we are not able to meet in person at the Spring SWAN/IL Quarterly Meetings, the Administrative Updates that would have been distributed at the meetings have been posted here. Take a moment to catch up with news from DHS/OCYF, the prime contractor and the IL program.

    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
  • Millers Create Large, Warm, Loving Family

    Brooke and Tierra Miller always knew they wanted a big family. Both grew up in large, warm and loving families, and they wanted to provide the same experience for their own children. After discussing the options available to them to make that happen, they decided to become foster parents. 

    Posted on December 13th, 2019
  • Families, Agencies Invited to Attend Winter Statewide Meeting Matching Reception

    The Department of Human Services, Office of Children, Youth and Families, Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN) and Independent Living Services (IL) will sponsor a Matching Reception on January 22, 2020 from 6 - 8:30 p.m. at the 2020 SWAN/IL Winter Statewide Meeting, held at The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center, State College. 

    Posted on December 13th, 2019
  • SWAN Affiliates Invited to Join SWAN Farm Show Exhibit

    The 104th Pennsylvania Farm Show will take place January 4 - 11, 2020 at the Farm Show Complex and Expo Center.  The Farm Show is attended by more than 100,000 people each year and offers a unique opportunity to recruit foster and adoptive families.  SWAN will have a display, and OCYF invites all SWAN affiliates to join in staffing the booth each day.

    Posted on December 13th, 2019
  • Love Builds a Happy, "Starr-Filled" Home

    No matter how a family is built, love is the foundation. And in the home of Tim and Renae Starr, there is plenty of love to go around. At the 2019 Pennsylvania Permanency Conference, Tim and Renae – and their six children – took the stage to accept a Permanent Family Recognition Award from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, Office of Children, Youth and Families. The scene brought tears to the eyes of many audience members.

    Posted on December 5th, 2019
  • National Adoption Month Celebrates, Promotes Families for Foster Children

    For 35 years, November has been designated as a time of celebration of adoptive families throughout the nation. In Pennsylvania, child-serving agencies, courts and communities take time out to honor families formed through adoption, reflect on lives of parents and children forever changed, and rally for the children still waiting for a family to call their own.

    Posted on November 20th, 2019
  • Youth Advocate Grounded in Family, Faith and Focus

    For 16-year-old Alex Isbell, this season’s drop in temperatures and leaves signals one thing: running. Alex is training and competing for the East Pennsboro High School Girls Cross Country team. “Cross country helps me feel better about myself,” she says, “I get butterflies in my stomach every meet because I really want to do well and hit my goals.” While her running goals continue to push her out of her comfort zone, Alex finds support and friendship within her team. “We’re really fun and spirited, and we encourage one another,” she shares, “It’s very much like a family.”

    Posted on October 29th, 2019
  • Juvenile Justice Week: JCJC Collaboration Strengthens Joint Training

    As Juvenile Justice Week (October 6 – 12, 2019) is recognized in Pennsylvania, a collaborative training workgroup is taking a joint training titled Shared Case Responsibility: Maximizing Quality of Care for Children & Youth in the Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Systems into the final stretch of development. This group is comprised of SWAN prime contract staff and professionals from the Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission (JCJC).

    Posted on October 16th, 2019
  • Lehigh County Foster Children Picnic Heats Up the Fun

    Despite the heat on July 19, nearly 100 children enjoyed the Fun Day Picnic, planned and hosted by Lehigh County Children, Youth and Family Services. Children of all ages attended, including those in out-of-home placement, children from other counties in local foster homes, Valley Youth House residents, and foster families’ biological children. The “hottest” features were a DJ, pizza, and a photo booth, all of which were donated or discounted.

    Posted on October 1st, 2019