The Adoption and Alternative Planned Permanent Living Arrangement (APPLA) unit assures that children have permanency in the event returning to their birth family is no longer a viable option. In most cases, a "forever family" is found for the child and they will be adopted. Adoption caseworkers work closely with the TPR unit and the State-Wide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN) to ensure permanency for every waiting child. In 2006, 1,926 children were adopted in Pennsylvania through SWAN. Since the inception of SWAN, 15 years ago, over 21,000 children were adopted in our state.
In some cases, however, children are in need of intensive mental health services and remain in the care of LCOCYS so that their treatment needs can best be met. Relative caregivers and adoptive homes are continually sought for these youth as well. The ultimate goal for every child in this unit is for a safe, loving, and permanent home.
The Independent Living (IL) unit handles the cases of teenagers who will most likely not return home. They receive specialized independent living skills training and support provided by vendor agencies. The goal is to prepare them for life after placement. These teens are eligible for services until the age of 21, whether or not they elect to remain in formal placement. Areas of training covered include higher education, coaching for job acquisition, apartment searching and lease agreements, checking and savings accounts, parenting and childcare, cooking and healthy living, and any other skills normally taught by parents to their young adults. For further information on IL, contact Paula Roberts at 610-782-3474.