Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN)

Project STAR at The Children’s Institute is an affiliate of the Pennsylvania State Wide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN), and as such, works with children in the child welfare system and the families who care for them. Project STAR provides an array of SWAN adoption and permanency services which include:

Child Profile
A child profile is a comprehensive written review of a child's social, medical, educational, and non-identifying birth family history. While a typical record for a child in the child welfare system is very large, a child profile provides a summary, conveying the essence of the child to the reader and emphasizing the child's strengths.

In Pennsylvania, this service is available to any child in the custody of Children and Youth Services. Referrals for this SWAN-administered service are made by the county having legal custody of the child. Child profiles are used in several ways. Profiles are shared with potential foster/adoptive families when searching for a permanent home for a child. Child profiles are typically the mechanism used to provide required medical and social history information on children in substitute care to the Pennsylvania Adoption Information Registry (PAIR). Profiles are particularly beneficial for youth who are in Independent Living (IL) programs and often do not have an accurate account of their own history.

Child Preparation
Child preparation is intense preparation designed to assist children in making the transition from foster care to the permanency option selected for them. Through a written plan, the caseworker addresses five goals: give the child a voice, honor the child's past, answer the child’s questions, create connections, and look to the future. Skilled staff use techniques such as the life book, timelines, genograms as well as age appropriate activities to support this process. Child preparation allows children and youth to safely revisit the past and look forward to the future so they can succeed with a family.

Child Specific Recruitment
Child specific recruitment (CSR) is a service designed for children in out-of-home placement who have no pre-adoptive family identified for them. CSR includes, but is not limited to, all planned activities used to identify a pre-adoptive family. For example, information about a child might be included on Project STAR’s matching board, and a child’s flyer may be distributed at matching events throughout the state. The child may participate in a televised “Waiting Child” segment. CSR promotes the awareness of a single child in hopes of locating an adoptive family for that child.

Post-Permanency Services (Assessment, Advocacy, Respite, Support Group)

For more information about SWAN services, please contact Debra Henry at 412-244-3056 or

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