Department of Human Services Hosts 32nd Annual Pennsylvania Permanency Conference Highlighting Adoption Successes

David Diller with DHS OCYF Deputy Secretary Laval Miller-Wilson

Pocono Manor, PA – This week, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) hosted the 32nd Annual Pennsylvania Permanency Conference in Monroe County, bringing together child welfare professionals, current and prospective foster or adoptive families, kinship care providers, and others to collaborate and learn ways to help children and families through the adoption and permanency process.  

Since the Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN) began in 1992, there have been more than 58,000 adoptions in Pennsylvania, and Pennsylvania averages more than 2,000 finalized adoptions from the child welfare system each fiscal year. There are more than 13,600 Pennsylvania children served in out-of-home care every six months, and nearly three thousand of those youth are in need of forever homes.

“Every child deserves a childhood in a loving home with a supportive family, and each and every one of us has a vested interest in making sure our children have safe, permanent and loving homes,” said DHS Secretary Dr. Val Arkoosh. “DHS and our partners at the county level, foster and adoptive parents, and the professionals who support children and families at all parts of the child welfare system all share the goal of finding Pennsylvania’s children and youth their forever home, and this collaborative work has been successful in finding permanency for more than 58,000 Pennsylvania children. If anyone has a place in your heart and in your home for a child, I urge you to please consider adoption.”

The mission of the Annual Pennsylvania Permanency Conference is to train participants on how to prepare children and their families for their journey towards permanency, educate and support all those involved in finding permanent homes for Pennsylvania’s foster children, and provide an opportunity for children to be matched with prospective foster and adoptive families. 

The conference also includes an awards ceremony recognizing those who help children and youth achieve permanent homes. This year’s award winners include:

Permanent Family Recognition Award

Families selected have provided legalized permanency for a child or children involved in the child welfare system:

  • Bob and Tessa Campbell, Northumberland County  

  • Brian and Mia Hassinger, Juniata County (Pictured below)

  • Corey and Amy Miller, Wyoming County

  • Alexis Bowman, Philadelphia County

  • Jared and Jason Dahlgren Moots, Allegheny County

  • Francine Hazzard, Allegheny County

Philanthropy Recognition

The organization selected demonstrates a significant charitable commitment that promotes the permanency of children in foster care:

  • Josh and Melissa Conklin, Cody’s Closet, Butler County

Permanency Teamwork Recognition

The organizations exemplify a collaborative effort between a county court and a county children and youth agency that expedites permanency through adoption, formal kinship care or legal custodianship:

  • Rebecca Mill, Berks County Children and Youth Services 

  • Rose Santana, Berk County Children and Youth Services

  • Brooke Strausser, Berks County Children and Youth Services

  • Natalie Farst, Berks County Children and Youth Services

  • Mark Zimmer, Guardian Ad Litem  

  • Elizabeth Teeters, Concern

  • Brianna Sears, Empowerment Behavioral Health

  • Kristin Huntzinger, Empowerment Behavioral Health 

Permanency Advocate Recognition

This award recognizes a dynamic individual who demonstrates a commitment to building cooperative relationships to expedite the permanency process:

  • Parvis Ansari, Centre County Public Defender, Centre County

Independent Living Professional Recognition

The individuals selected for this award have demonstrated that they have helped youth transition into becoming successful contributing members of society:

  • Cassie Reasbeck, Warren County 

Permanency Professional Recognition

Individuals selected to receive this award are permanency professionals working in a public or private child welfare agency:

  • David Diller, Delaware County (pictured above)

Youth Advocate Recognition

  • Emma Grimm, Westmoreland County


To learn more about adoption and fostering resources, go to, or call 1-800-585-SWAN.

The Hassinger Family

DHS Media Contact Details

Press Office

Department of Human Services 717-425-7606
Department of Human Services Media

Ali Fogarty

Communications Director Department of Human Director 717-425-7606
Department of Human Services Media

Brandon Cwalina

Press Secretary Department of Human Services 717-425-7606
Department of Human Services Media