An older waiting youth contemplating his future placement.

Child-Specific Recruitment &
Older Child Matching Initiative

All children and youths have a right to belong to a family.

The Child-Specific Recruitment—or CSR—service, designed by Pennsylvania’s Statewide Adoption & Permanency Network or SWAN, is provided through Diakon Adoption & Foster Care for children and youths without a permanent family. CSR is meant to be used for children and youths who have not been successfully matched with a resource family through the traditional matching process. After a county child welfare agency makes a referral to Diakon Adoption & Foster Care, the matching process begins.

How the program works ...

Child-Specific Recruitment assists children and youths in out-of-home placements, from birth through 21 years of age, who are eligible for adoption. Using written information obtained through the SWAN profile on the child or youth, a child-specific recruiter begins the search for a family by identifying past significant relationships that could potentially become a resource for the child.

The child-specific recruiter will search for approved families within the SWAN network and outside of Pennsylvania in selected cases. Diakon combines the vision of the county placement agency, the needs of the child and the strengths of the family to develop the most-appropriate match. We:

  • Engage the youth in the process
  • Design a photo portfolio highlighting the child’s unique self
  • Use all venues possible to extend the search

Diakon Adoption & Foster Care’s participation in the Wendy's Wonderful Kids program and Pennsylvania Older Child Matching Initiative is designed to find “forever” families for older youths in danger of aging out of the children and youth system.

These are the young people most at risk of never gaining the permanence everyone deserves, found in having their own family. A child-specific approach entails a concerted effort to find or develop resources for these youths before it is too late, before they transition from childhood to adulthood without ever having had a family to call their own. 

An older waiting youth contemplating her future placement.