What We Do
Family Pathways is an affiliate agency of the Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN), providing services to both children and families as they work towards permanency. Services focused on children include child profile, child preparation, and child specific recruitment. Families become approved as adoptive resources parents through the Family Profile (home study) process. Placement and Finalization referrals can be made by the county to assist in facilitating matches and support the family as they move towards permanency. Services do not end after adoption! Post Permanency Services are available to any family that has adopted (private, international, or through foster care) or obtained Permanent Legal Custody (PLC) of a child. Post Permanency services include Assessment/Advocacy, Respite and Support Group.
Family Pathways' Permanency Department offers several different services to families who are currently involved in the foster care system or have already adopted a child. They include:
Child Preparation – A unit of service offered through the SWAN program. This process helps children work through the difficulties that can often become barriers for them in finding a permanent home. Can be referred for any age child and is often recommended to be referred throughout the child’s time in placement to be a support, answer questions and prepare the child for any upcoming changes whether that might be reunification or adoption. A lifebook will be completed for the child.
Child Profile - A comprehensive summary of the child’s life history. It is often referred when children enter the child welfare system. It can be updated twice in a 3 year period. Child must have a completed child profile for adoption.
Child Specific Recruitment (CSR) – A unit of service offered through the SWAN program which identifies adoptive resources for children in the custody of a county agency. It can also be used for family finding. It is a year long service that can be used to find an adoptive resource or connections and supports for the child and family. It is often referred when children enter the child welfare system and is not placed with a pre-adoptive family.
Family Profile (Home Study) – A family who wishes to adopt must undergo a process of information sharing with the adoption agency. This process usually includes visits to the home and interviews with family members. It also includes background checks to verify employment, criminal, FBI and child abuse history checks, and character references as well as yearly physical exams. Family Profiles take 4 months and all families must have a completed family profile for an adoption.
Finalization – A unit of service offered through the SWAN program that helps prepare the family for adoption. This service is used to help the family understand adoption related questions such as subsidy, Act 101, and the required paperwork. The worker visits the family every 30 days and completes reports monthly.
Post-Permanency Services – (often referred to as post-adoption services) Post-permanency services are offered through the SWAN program. They are used to support the child and family after permanency is achieved. Families who are eligible for Post-Permanency Services include those who have adopted through the child welfare system, private adoptions, international adoptions, and Permanent Legal Custody (PLC). Families self-refer for Post-Permanency Services by calling the SWAN Helpline at 1-800-585-SWAN (7926). Services available include Advocacy/Case Management, Respite, Support Group.
Older Child Matching Initiative (OCMI):
The OCMI is a collaboration between Diakon Adoption & Foster
Care and Family Pathways, who have been a part of the OCMI
since 2010. The OCMI provides diligent, on-going recruitment
services for older youth in Pennsylvania's foster care system.
Traditionally, older youth (defined as ages 10-21) have had
additional obstacles in their path to finding their forever family.
OCMI recruiters work to help youth overcome these obstacles,
as well as to document the factors involved in finding successful
outcomes. The OCMI works in conjunction with the other units of
SWAN. OCMI workers and SWAN Affiliate workers work closely with one another to achieve permanency for Pennsylvania's foster care children.