Statewide Resources

Resources Provided by the Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network

Featured Links

SWAN Permanency Toolkit – The SWAN Permanency Toolkit is your go-to online resource for adoption and permanency in Pennsylvania. Inside, you’ll find valuable information on SWAN service units, online training, child welfare statistics, relevant laws and regulations, and key initiatives like the SWAN Legal Services, Pennsylvania Adoption Exchange, SWAN Helpline, and the State Resource Family Association.

Adoption – PAE, by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, connects waiting children with adoptive families through an online photo album. It offers adoption information, support, and manages a database for medical and social history information exchange among adoptees, adoptive parents, and birth relatives.

The Adoption Network – Provides access to information for adopted individuals, birth parents, and adoptive parents, enabling them to search through an extensive database of over 2 million adoption web pages for research, study, and making well-informed decisions throughout their adoption journey.

The National Adoption Center – Broadens adoption possibilities for foster children nationwide while serving as a valuable resource for families and agencies in their quest to provide loving homes. The center facilitates adoption matching events, such as the Pennsylvania matching parties hosted by SWAN, where waiting children meet families eager to adopt them.

Voice for Adoption – VFA is a national leader in advocating for better adoption policies, working alongside legislators and child welfare groups to improve the lives of 107,000 foster care children awaiting adoption and their adopting families.

Pact, An Adoption Alliance – Established in 1991 by adoptive parents, Pact is a nonprofit dedicated to providing the most comprehensive online resource for transracial/transcultural adoption. Pact offers informative articles, links, and a book guide on related topics. – provides valuable services to families and child welfare professionals. They offer resources and a vast database of U.S. foster children available for adoption, along with approved adopting families. Everything you need for a successful journey through foster care and adoption is right here.

The Evan B. Donaldson Institute – Dedicated to promoting adoption as a family-building option and improving adoption policies, the institute provides a wealth of adoption research, including over 1,000 abstracts from 1986-2012, adoption bibliographies, and state-specific adoption statistics.

North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) – Promotes and supports permanent families for children and youth in the U.S. and Canada who have been in care, especially those in foster care and those with special needs. Committed to meeting the needs of waiting children and the families who adopt them. This site includes information on how to adopt, post-adoption services, family recruitment and retention, upcoming conferences and publications pertaining to subsidy, concurrent planning, parent support groups, trans-racial parenting, etc.

Child Welfare

Pennsylvania Children and Youth Administration – PCYA’s mission is to enhance services for children, youth, and families by facilitating information exchange, public education, and member support. This site also hosts the Technical Assistance Collaborative partners and agency county assignments.

Pennsylvania State Resource Family Association (PSRFA) – PSRFA advocates for children and families, partnering with caregivers and organizations. They engage the community to improve family life in Pennsylvania and influence child welfare policies globally.

The Pennsylvania Council of Children, Youth and Family Services (PCCYFS) – PCCYFS is a membership association of private providers serving non-adjudicated, dependent, and delinquent populations, including their families. They offer a wide range of services, from prevention to residential and therapeutic care, often including behavioral health and education. Their commitment includes advancing professional practices, improving outcomes, and fostering unity to address fiscal and programmatic concerns. The council ensures a strong voice for the private provider community, advocating for Pennsylvania’s vulnerable children, youth, and families.

Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center – The Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center, run by the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work, collaboratively provides customized training and technical assistance to county children and youth agencies. Through partnerships with various stakeholders, including the Department of Human Services, private provider agencies, and community members, the center supports county-specific improvement efforts. This approach enhances the skills and practices of child welfare professionals across the state, ultimately working toward the safety, permanence, and well-being of the children, youth, and families they serve.

Pennsylvania Youth Advisory Board – The Youth Advisory Board, part of the Independent Living Project sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work and the Child Welfare Resource Center, works to improve the substitute care system through education, advocacy, and partnerships. You can also find the “Know Your Rights: A Guide for Youth in Substitute Care” on this site, essential for caseworkers and youth aged 14 and up.

Child Welfare Information Gateway – Child Welfare Information Gateway is a one-stop resource for child welfare professionals, consolidating services from the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect and the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse. It provides easy access to crucial information, research, statistics, laws, and training resources to protect children and support families.

Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) – As the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit dedicated to enhancing child protection and family strengthening policies and programs, CWLA is a formidable coalition of public and private agencies with a legacy dating back to 1920. The website features publications, conference details, program notices, articles, and more.

Spaulding for Children – Provides help to children who wait the longest for permanency and support services to their adoptive, foster and kinship families. Spaulding offers training, consultation and informational materials for professionals, organizations and parents. The site features publications and videos, current schedule of trainings and the Adoption Support and Preservation Program (ASAP), a referral service.

The American Humane Association – The association impacts millions daily with pioneering research, education, training, and services, collaborating with a vast network of organizations, agencies, and businesses. The website provides fact sheets on various topics, including emotional abuse, Shaken Baby Syndrome, reporting abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect. You can also find details about nationwide roundtable institutes on child welfare topics.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation – This foundation supports policies and services for vulnerable children and families. It offers grants to enhance community support, infrastructure, employment, and economic vitality. You can find grant guidelines, publications, and “Kids Count” data on the website.

Additional Resources:

American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law – is a comprehensive program providing technical assistance, training, and research on various legal topics impacting children. These areas include child abuse, adoption, adolescent health, foster care, custody, guardianship, missing and exploited children, and children’s exposure to domestic violence.

Disability Rights Network – a nonprofit mandated to protect the civil rights of people with disabilities. Their goal is to ensure they live in their communities with necessary services, receive inclusive education, and have control over their services, free from discrimination and abuse.

Education Law Center of Pennsylvania – A public interest law office dedicated to training, sharing information, advocating, and collaborating to ensure equitable access to education and school programs for all children. We also offer families information on education laws and policies while working to enhance schools.

HIAS of Pennsylvania – A non-profit organization that provides legal services to low income and at-risk immigrants and refugees.

Pennsylvania Health Law Project – a nationally recognized expert and consultant on healthcare access for vulnerable populations, including low-income individuals, the elderly, and those with disabilities. With over two decades of experience, we advocate for individual consumers and drive essential health policy changes in Pennsylvania.

The Juvenile Law Center (JLC) – JLC is a nonprofit law firm dedicated to protecting at-risk children’s rights and well-being. We work to reform and coordinate child welfare, juvenile justice, and healthcare systems for children. The website includes FAQs on children’s rights and publications for various professionals. If you have questions about an individual child’s rights or children’s rights in general, an online form is provided to submit your question to JLC.

Center for Schools and Communities – Since 1988, the Center for Schools and Communities has worked to improve outcomes for children and families through training, technical assistance, program evaluation, and resource development. The center supports initiatives in education, community, family, and violence prevention, primarily funded by Pennsylvania’s Departments of Education, Health, and Public Welfare, focusing on programs in schools and organizations serving children and families.

Parents Involved Network – A statewide organization aiding parents or caregivers of children and adolescents facing emotional and behavioral disorders, PIN offers information, facilitates service discovery, and advocates on their behalf within various public systems catering to children. These systems encompass mental health services, education, and other state and local child-serving agencies.

Parent to Parent of Pennsylvania – is a network created by families for families of children and adults with special needs. We connect families in similar situations with one another so that they may share experiences, offer practical information and/or support.

The Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance – PFSA protects children by teaching citizens to recognize and report child abuse and neglect and by providing information, educational materials and programs that promote positive parenting. They have recently partnered with American Humane, a nationally recognized leader in the prevention of child maltreatment, to launch the Front Porch Project® (FPP) in Pennsylvania – a community-based primary prevention initiative based on the belief that everyone can — and should — become more aware of how to help protect children in their own community. It provides people with the knowledge, training and encouragement they need to become involved.

Together as Adoptive Parents (TAP) – Taplink is a resource website for adoptive, foster and kinship families that brings local resources from across the state into one central, accessible place. Dedicated to providing support for adoptive families and assisting adoptive parents find necessary resources. Supports – respite, tutors, therapists, support groups, Medical Access contacts, children and youth contacts, attachment specific services and sexual abuse specific services – are listed county by county. This site provides in-depth information about subsidy and special education. Phone and website links are listed.

E-LEARN – Act 101 Overview – Click this link to go to the Child Welfare Resource Center’s E-LEARN site. You will need a user name and password that you may obtain by emailing [email protected]. The two-hour Act 101 Overview course is free of charge. The overview of Act 101 allows you to learn about any or all three sections of the act that covers the Pennsylvania Adoption Information Registry, access to records and voluntary post-adoption contact agreements. Training certificates are available. If you have any questions about the training, please contact the SWAN LSI Warmline at 888-793-2512 or at [email protected].

SWAN Units of Service Training – The Spaulding/SWAN online trainings are an interactive web-based tool. They were built to include a supervisory component allowing review of the progress caseworkers make as they complete the training. These trainings are produced online making it more conducive to updates that reflect the most current SWAN practice. They were created to assist both affiliates and counties in their understanding and delivery of SWAN units of service. Currently four units of service trainings are hosted by Spaulding on this website. They are the child profile, child preparation , family profile and post-permanency units. All other units will be added as they are developed.

Tapestry Books – Lists over 300 books on adoption, infertility and parenting challenges. An online catalog and online ordering form make purchasing easy.