Articles Tagged Statewide

  • National Adoption Month: Small Steps Lead to Great Outcomes

    For 38 years, November has been recognized as National Adoption Month—a time to increase awareness of adoption issues, bring attention to the need for adoptive families for teens in the foster care system, and recognize the value of engaging youth. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf also issued a proclamation recognizing November as Adoption Awareness Month in the Commonwealth.

    Posted on November 4th, 2022
  • The Art of Selflessness

    We’ve all heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” For Pennsylvania’s children and youth in foster care, these words take on greater significance when it comes to finding permanency. Every day, these children and youth are navigating trauma, a multitude of changes, uncertainty, education, relationships, and much more. Simultaneously, dedicated permanency workers are writing strengths-based narratives for them, collaborating with counties on information sharing processes, and employing a variety of recruitment strategies to match them with permanent families.

    Posted on September 26th, 2022
  • Youth Advocate Award Winner Raises the Bar

    Julia Mueller is a “wonder woman in the making,” according to her nominee, Shayla Jones. The recipient of the 2022 Youth Advocate Recognition award, Julia is a glowing example of a young woman turning lemons into lemonade. As an alumnus of the foster care system, Julia’s firsthand experiences in care, combined with her persistent and focused temperament, have given her an influential voice on the Pennsylvania Youth Advisory Board.

    Posted on September 26th, 2022
  • SWAN Celebrates 30th Anniversary at June Events

    There’s a saying, “When we’re together, everything falls into place.” This could easily define the 2022 SWAN/IL Summer Statewide Meeting (SSW) and Pennsylvania Permanency Conference, which were held in person for the first time since 2019. 

    Posted on August 8th, 2022
  • Meet Rachel Kuhr: Permanency Scholar, Mentor and Advocate

    As we look forward to this summer’s Pennsylvania Permanency Conference, we invite you to get to know 2021’s Permanency Professional Award recipient, Rachel Kuhr. If you’ve ever been to a SWAN conference, statewide meeting, or central region quarterly meeting, you know Rachel. If she’s not sharing her knowledge as a presenter, she is listening intently – usually while crocheting – and asking all the right questions to achieve clarity and improve service delivery for children in out-of-home care.

    Posted on March 28th, 2022
  • SWAN/IL Winter Statewide Meeting Kicks Off 2022

    The 2022 SWAN/IL Winter Statewide Meeting was held January 26-27. Originally planned to be both an in-person and virtual event, the prime contractor and OCYF decided to pivot the event to be virtual as a safety precaution during the recent Omicron surge of COVID-19.

    The meeting opened in usual form with morning updates from OCYF, IL, and the prime contract. These updates can be found online in the 2022 SWAN/IL Winter Administrative Updates ...

    Posted on February 15th, 2022
  • Network Comes Together at Fall Quarterly Meetings

    For the first time since the onset of COVID-19 in March 2020, the SWAN/IL Quarterly Meetings took place in-person throughout regions of the Commonwealth, infusing a spirit of connectedness for which the network is often characterized. As Carrie Keiser, Director, Division of Programs, Office of Children, Youth and Families declared in her opening remarks, “It is SO good to be back together!”

    More than 850 attendees gathered at six regional locations and online for ...

    Posted on November 17th, 2021
  • Fall Administrative Updates Highlighted at Fall Quarterly Meetings

    The Administrative Updates, produced four times per year in conjunction with SWAN/IL regional and statewide meetings, were recently distributed to those individuals registered to attend one of the SWAN/IL Fall Quarterly Meetings. The publication contains important and timely information on current activities and practices, trainings, workgroup efforts, resources available, outcomes, events and reminders. Take a moment to catch up with current news from DHS/OCYF, the prime contractor and the IL program and ...

    Posted on November 3rd, 2021
  • Rates Changes and New Unit of Service Announced at 2021 SWAN Summer Statewide Meeting

    In her opening remarks to the network at the 2021 SWAN Summer Statewide Meeting, Carrie Keiser, Director, Division of Programs, Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF), highlighted adjustments to payment rates for SWAN units of services for service referrals made during the state fiscal year 2021-2022. The payment rates are defined in OCYF Bulletin 3350-21-02, released to the network on June 30, and archived in the SWAN Permanency Toolkit ...

    Posted on August 16th, 2021
  • SWAN Legal Training Team Continues Virtual Presentations Through Fall

    SWAN’s team of legal training specialists (LTS) has spent the past year converting and fine-tuning presentations, adapting from in-person presentations to a virtual training format to continue delivering high-quality legal trainings to child welfare professionals across the state of Pennsylvania. We were excited to see that our online trainings have been “virtually” just as popular as in-person presentations. Our team has had ...

    Posted on July 21st, 2021
  • Attendance Rates Increase, Connections Maintained through Virtual Events

    It’s been nearly one year since the COVID-19 pandemic brought in-person gatherings to an abrupt halt causing the network to shift standard events and meetings to a virtual format. While there are drawbacks and we miss the richness of face-to-face interactions, a silver lining has been the ability for more members to participate in network events and for connections among the network to be maintained.

    Posted on February 9th, 2021
  • Coming in February: Second Virtual Statewide Child Preparation Activity Swap

    Building on the success of last year’s first virtual Child Preparation Activity Swap, a second event is planned for February. The activity swap facilitates the exchange of ideas about child preparation activities among child preparation workers. The February event will feature activities related to the holidays.

    Posted on February 9th, 2021
  • “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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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