The Pennsylvania Statewide Adoption & Permanency Network (SWAN) 

A Diakon-affiliated company, Diakon-SWAN, LLC, in partnership with Family Design Resources, has administered Pennsylvania’s Statewide Adoption & Permanency Network—typically known as SWAN—under contract with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services since 2000.

Diakon-SWAN, a separate company from Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries and Diakon Child, Family & Community Ministries, has received four five-year contracts during that time to manage the network on behalf of the state. Since 2000, more than 27,000 children have been adopted from the child welfare system.

SWAN is a public-private partnership devoted to achieving permanency for children in foster care. SWAN involves state, county and private agencies in coordinating the delivery of permanency services to children in Pennsylvania who are in the custody of county children and youth agencies and post-permanency supportive services to families.

During the last five-year period, management of the SWAN program recorded a number of significant achievements, among them:

  • Expansion and maintenance of resources supporting adoption and foster care in Pennsylvania including revision and updating of benchmarks,
  • Creation of a “permanency toolkit” for adoption agencies,
  • Development of online and interactive direct-service training modules for adoption staff,
  • Further expansion of the SWAN Legal Services Initiative, which provides county-based legal staff to assist in achieving permanency options including adoption.

In addition, the Diakon-Family Design Resources partnership has overseen revision of the first SWAN information portal, which brought together data on children and families previously existing in 11 independent data systems, to create a single-record system that streamlines adoption and foster care efforts.  

Diakon’s commitment to SWAN represents one additional way the overall organization touches the lives of children and youths in need.