Getting Started with Diakon

Every Child Needs a Family—Could You Open Your Home and Heart?

Congratulations! By visiting our website, you have taken one of the first steps in getting started toward foster care or adoption. But what’s next?

The primary step at this stage is to request an information packet—and then, if you wish to continue, attend one of our many, monthly information sessions, scheduled throughout the central and eastern Pennsylvania territory we serve. Those two steps are outlined below, after which we have provided a brief listing of the process that follows those steps.

Request an information packet 

Diakon Adoption & Foster Care supplies a comprehensive, no-obligation packet of information to people interested in foster care or adoption. You may request that packet simply by completing our convenient online information-request form or by e-mailing or telephoning our recruitment staff members: 

Central Pennsylvania Office, Mechanicsburg, Pa.

Jason Bacon

(717) 795-0320

Northeastern Pennsylvania Office, Topton, Pa.
April Bartholomew
(610) 682-1259

South-Central Pennsylvania Office, York, Pa.
Lois Kirkpatrick

(717) 845-9113

Attend a general-overview information/orientation session  

Held monthly in various locations, the information session offers prospective resources families a general overview of foster care, legal-risk (foster-to-adopt) placements and adoption. Topics include:

  • Diakon’s foster care and adoption services
  • The steps of foster care or adoption
  • The types of children who need foster and/or adoptive families
  • How to apply
  • Any related fees


If you or your family are unable to attend an information night, a one-on-one session can be arranged. Dates, times and locations for upcoming information sessions are listed here. In addition, we have a printable list of training events at locations throughout central and eastern Pennsylvania. Currently, most of these events are being held virtually; contact us for more information.

If you proceed, here are some of the next steps, outlined in more detail in the “In Process” section of our website:

  • “Self-Inventory.” If a family is interested in moving forward with foster care or adoption, members should conduct a family “self-inventory.”
  • Complete Interest Registration Form. This form is available on the Forms page in the “In Process” section of our website or will be provided to you at your information/orientation session.
  • Adoption and foster care preparation training. Training can begin after the applicant or interested person attends an orientation/information session.
  • Family profile. After training is completed, a family profile is conducted that is designed to fully understand your family, helpful in making the appropriate child/family match. Home visits look at how life experiences may help the resource family relate to the child in foster care or adopted child or youth.
  • Search for a child. When the family profile and home study are completed, an extensive search is conducted of all children and youths in need of a foster family or who are legally free for adoption.
  • Present the family to children/pre-placement visits. After a potential match is made, the foster or adoptive family is introduced to the child.
  • Child placed in home. After the child has been introduced to the family, there is a six- to nine-month period of supervision by Diakon Adoption & Foster Care team members. Foster care placements may be more intensive, depending on the type and level of placement.
  • The final adoption process, if applicable. In the case of legal-risk (foster-to-adopt) placements or domestic adoption, the adoption can be finalized following the conclusion of the supervision period. When legal proceedings are completed, the child or youth is legally part of the adoptive family.