Articles, page 2

  • 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
  • In Tribute: Tonya Hottenstein, SWAN Helpline Lead Coordinator

    The SWAN Prime Contractor is profoundly saddened by the death of SWAN Helpline Lead Coordinator Tonya Hottenstein, who passed away on September 12 in Hershey, Pennsylvania. A 20-year employee of the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit, Tonya’s impact on adoptive families was widespread and fueled by her passion for serving others, her personal advocacy on behalf of woman and children, and her deep reserve of love and caring for SWAN Helpline callers and colleagues.

    Posted on October 1st, 2019
  • Proposals Invited for Annual Permanency Conference

    The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, Office of Children, Youth and Families; the Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network; and Independent Living Services invites interested parties to submit workshop proposals for the 28th Annual Pennsylvania Permanency Conference. The submission deadline is October 25. The conference will be held June 17–19, 2020 at Kalahari Resorts and Conventions in Pocono Manor, Pennsylvania.

    Posted on October 1st, 2019
  • IL Retreat Promotes Connection and Permanency

    Each year, the Independent Living Project organizes a retreat for older youth, which is held in August at the University of Pittsburgh – Johnstown campus. This year, the program featured a multitude of events, including sports, crafts, cooking, and many more activities to promote teambuilding and connection for the youth who attend the event.

    Posted on September 13th, 2019
  • Educator Provides Permanency to Student Sibling Set

    It takes a village to raise a child, as the saying goes, and in the best-case scenarios, children and youth who seek permanency resources need look no further than their own village. Debbie Hiller represents a unique subset of this village: teachers and educational professionals. Recently, Ms. Hiller took some time to talk about the experience and process of adopting her three children.

    Posted on September 11th, 2019
  • 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.

    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
  • 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 http://www.diakon-swan.org/postpermanency/ 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 SWANHelpline@diakon-swan.org.  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