In Process Families & Parents

At this point in your journey, you have attended an information/orientation session and are ready to begin training to become a resource family or parent.

Or perhaps you've completed your training and are waiting for a child or youth to join you and your family. 

In either case, we express our deep appreciation that you have taken this important step. The children and youths who long for family thank you as well!

We have developed this section of our website specifically for you and have included various resources you may need, including frequently asked questions, a home safety assessment video and a list of important documents and forms.

If you find, however, that there are additional resources that you believe would be helpful to you, please contact your case manager directly or use our contact form

In the meantime ...

Who are the children and youths who wait?

Visit our gallery of children and youths who wait for the gift of permanence and family.

Resource Family Training Materials

To help you understand the scope of what you will be studying during our three-day training sessions, here is a helpful overview of subjects:

Day 1

Overview of Child Welfare System

  • Child Welfare Philosophy
  • Court Process
  • Hierarchy of Permanency Goals
  • Concurrent Planning
  • Types of Resource Families
  • Visitation
  • Confidentiality
  • Responsibilities as a Resource Parent

Description of Diakon Programs

  • Foster/Legal Risk 
  • SWAN
  • Interstate Special Needs Adoption
  • Private Infant 
  • Program Fees
  • Interviewing Tips

Family Profile/Home Study Process

Act 101

  • Voluntary Contact Agreement
  • Search
  • Pennsylvania Adoption Information Registry

Post-Permanency Services


Child Development

  • Normal Child Development
  • Influential Factors on Development
  • Developmental Domains
  • Stages of Child Development
  • Impact of Abuse and Neglect on Child Development
  • Remedial Parenting 
  • Assessing Behavior in Context of Child Development
  • Creative Ways to Connect

Day 2 

Trauma 101 

  • Types of Trauma
  • How Children Respond to Trauma
  • Reactions to Trauma Reminders
  • Traumatic Stress Reactions
  • Traumatic Play
  • Talking About Trauma

Difficult Behaviors

  • Lying
  • Stealing
  • Hoarding and Gorging
  • Aggression

Resilience/Recovering from Trauma

Grief and Loss

  • Types of Loss
  • Elements that Influence a Child’s Experience of a Loss
  • Stages of Grief 


  • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
  • Cycle of Needs
  • Symptoms of Attachment Difficulties
  • Reactive Attachment Disorder
  • Stages of Attachment in Adoptive Families

Parenting the Foster Child

  • Six Things to Know Before Parenting a Foster Child
  • Skills of Successful Foster Parents
  • 10 Principles of Good Parenting

Positive Discipline

  • Discipline vs. Punishment
  • Examples of Positive Discipline

Most Common Diagnoses

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Mood Disorder
  • Eating Disorders
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Medication

First Aid Quiz

Day 3

Transracial Adoption

  • Challenges
  • Adoptive Parent Cultural Competence
  • Practical Tips

Drug & Alcohol Exposure

  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
  • Tips for Parents

Communicable Diseases

  • Universal Precautions and Personal Protective Equipment
  • Pennsylvania Act 148

Talking to Your Child about Difficult Histories

  • Positive Adoption Language
  • Age-Level Discussion
  • The Sandwich Theory
  • Common Triggers
  • Important Points to Remember

Sexual Abuse

  • Why is Sexual Abuse Not Reported?
  • Impact of Sexual Abuse
  • Talking with Your Child About Sexual Abuse
  • Parenting the Sexually Abused Child
  • Green Light Behaviors
  • Significant Signs of Sexual Abuse
  • Assessing Normal vs. Abnormal Sexual Behaviors in Children
  • Addressing Sexual Acting-Out Behaviors with Children

What Makes a Successful Foster/Adoptive Parent

Reasonable and Prudent Parenting/Pennsylvania HB 477

  • Key Terms
  • Responsibilities of Resource Parents 
  • Why is Participation in Age- and Developmentally Appropriate Activities Important?
  • Utilizing Safety Plans
  • Utilizing Guiding Questions
  • Accessing Additional Resources
  • Notification Procedures

Online Training

Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse