Adoption & Foster Care Services

family standing in front of playground

It all begins with a Resource Family

A resource family is an amazing gift to a child. We cannot express how thankful we are for these individuals, couples, and families who agree to take a child into their home and provide life-changing love and care.

Attend an upcoming Information Night or read on for more information. 

These families can be part of a child’s life for a few days, weeks, months, or forever.

These are the ways that resource families can be a part of a child's life:

  • Adoption: Commit to a child as a forever family, and offer a place of permanence, security and love
  • Foster Care: Provide a place of security, care and love for a period of time 
  • Medical Foster Care: Provide foster care with a medical component for a child in need
  • Respite Care: Provide a temporary home for a few days or a few weeks, so the child’s family can have rest and a chance for renewal
  • Emergency Shelter Care: Provide a temporary home for a child needing immediate care

We want our Resource Families to succeed and so we educate, train, support and advocate for them throughout their journey.

Steps to becoming a Resource Family

Step 1. If you are interested in becoming a Resource Family, please contact one of our Family Recruiters or fill out the form below and we will send materials and information to you.

Kara Pennybaker, Allegheny County Family Recruiter

Tiffaney Hobson, Washington County Family Recruiter

Step 2. Attend one of Project STAR’s information meetings. We hold these meetings at least twice a month at various locations and they are a great opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the parent certification process, waiting children and Project STAR itself.

Step 3. Begin the parent certification process. This important step includes 24 hours of family education and coursework designed to give our Resource Parents a better understanding of the realities they will encounter and the skills they will need to guide them through the journey. We offer these classes several times a year in both Allegheny and Beaver counties.

Download printable information here:
Adoption and Foster Care at Project STAR


Adoption/Foster Care Inquiry Form


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What does it cost?
Because of our commitment to children, Project STAR at The Children’s Institute does not charge agency fees to families. Reimbursements from state and county agencies, charitable grants and personal contributions make this possible.

2. How long does it take?
The certification process takes at least three months. Families can choose to have the process extend over a longer period of time depending on their situation. Once certified, placement of a child depends upon the type of certification the family has chosen. For example, families who choose to provide emergency shelter foster care can have a child placed almost immediately after certification, while families who are specifically certified for adoption may be in the matching process for several months.

3. What can I expect from Project STAR?
As a resource family with Project STAR, you will be assigned a permanency specialist to help you through the matching process and to provide support when a child is placed in your home. Additionally, post-permanency services are available after adoption finalization. 

For more information, please Rob Henry, Resource Family Recruiter, at 724-544-8870 or

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