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PA Council on the Arts and PA Turnpike Commission Unveil Student-Created Artwork at King of Prussia Turnpike Service Plaza

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King of Prussia, PA – Today, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) and Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) unveiled a new artwork, designed and created by students at Radnor High School. This is the fourth art piece created through Art Sparks, a partnership between the PCA’s Arts in education residency program and the PTC. Art Sparks was created to bring student-created artwork to service plazas across the PTC’s 550-mile system.

Coordinated through the PCA’s regional Arts in Education partner, the Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership, students worked with teaching artist, Baily Cypress, and art teachers, Erik Barrett and Tracey Dean, to design and create the artwork. The finished mixed media mosaic, titled “the Gateway to the Main Line,” features 17 individual mosaics. Each mosaic depicts a landmark selected by the students based on its community, historic or aesthetic merit.

“Art Sparks presents students with the rare opportunity to create permanent artwork for public display,” said Karl Blischke, PCA executive director. “Not only did this experience help you grow as artists, but you’ve commendably highlighted your community’s many assets and landmarks for Turnpike travelers. I applaud you all for bringing this impressive installation to life.”

The unveiling event, which took place at the King of Prussia Service Plaza, drew individuals from the community to help celebrate, including students, families and local and state officials. “It’s amazing how art brings people together,” commented PTC CEO Mark Compton, who shared remarks at the event. “This project proves how young people can use their imaginations, work together and create something beautiful that motivates others. This piece, which now has a home at the King of Prussia Service Plaza, shows the world what this region has to offer.”

Art Sparks is a partnership between the PTC and the PCA. The program pairs K-12 art students and teaching artists from the PCA’s Arts in Education roster with the goal to install a local, student-created artwork in every service plaza, system-wide, over the next five to eight years. Schools near each respective service plaza host 20-day teaching artist residencies led by a local PCA teaching artist. Students work with the artist and members of the community to create artwork that reflects the region. For more information on Art Sparks, visit http://www.paturnpike.com/artsparks or http://www.arts.pa.gov/Pages/Art-Sparks.aspx.

Education Secretary Rivera to Serve on National Safe Schools Steering Committee

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Harrisburg, PA – Building upon the Wolf Administration’s commitment to safe schools and classrooms, Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera is joining other states’ education officials on the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) newly formed School Safety Steering Committee.

“We need to work together with a holistic approach to keep our schools safe, so children and teachers can focus on learning in the classroom,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “Secretary Rivera’s service on the CCSSO steering committee will bring the Pennsylvania perspective to this national conversation on school safety”

“Not only does he bring decades of experience in classrooms and school buildings, he will share the work Pennsylvania’s Task Force has undertaken in communities across the commonwealth.”

Secretary Rivera is one of twelve members as part of a national effort to collaborate on best practices and innovative measures to work towards creating a safe and supportive learning environment for students.

“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to ensuring school safety, but as educators and leaders we need to take a comprehensive look at the measures schools can thoughtfully implement to improve the culture in their hallways, classrooms and athletic fields where everyone feels valued, and every student has their social and emotional needs met,” said Secretary Rivera.

The School Safety Steering Committee will determine what guidance or support CCSSO will offer to numerous states around school safety. In addition, the steering committee also will inform how CCSSO will continue to support states in efforts to prevent violence from ever taking place by fostering safe, supportive schools that address the emotional well-being of all children.

CCSSO is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education. Its mission is to create a more equitable education system for all children, and provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues.

Earlier this year, Governor Wolf launched the state School Safety Task Force that brings together government officials, statewide education organizations, law enforcement, community members, school officials to talk about ways to improve school safety and security.

Wolf Administration Kicks Off Computer Science for All Summit with Former Obama Administration Advisor for Technical Education

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Harrisburg, PA – Today, Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Deputy Secretary Matthew Stem joined with former White House senior policy advisor for tech inclusion, Ruthe Farmer, and hundreds of educators and school leaders to kick off PDE’s Computer Science for All PA Summit.

During the three-day summit, education professionals will learn innovative approaches for providing students with computer science experiences in classrooms across the commonwealth.

“In the next ten years, over 71 percent of new jobs will require computer science skills,” said Deputy Secretary Stem. “The Wolf Administration as well as our school leaders are rising to the challenge to ensure all students have access to a high-quality education, are college and career ready, and will thrive in an ever-changing workforce.”

Since taking office in 2015, Governor Wolf has championed to expand access to computer science and STEM education. This year he introduced PAsmart, a $30 million investment to develop and expand computer science and STEM in K-12 education, to prepare and train educators to teach in computer science, STEM, and to offer job training for adults in computer science.

Also, to address the findings of a 2015 report indicating that only one in 10 Pennsylvania students in grades 7 through 12 were enrolled in a computer science course, with significant gaps for girls, students of color, and low-income students, Governor Wolf requested that the State Board of Education endorse Computer Science Teacher Association (CSTA) K-12 Standards, and in January Pennsylvania joined fewer than a dozen states in to have endorsed the standards,

“We cannot further STEM education with out equitable access to computer science for all students,” said Deputy Secretary Stem. “This week’s summit will teach our educational professionals how to encourage our students to become tomorrow’s industry leaders.”

Governor Wolf is also a member of the Governors’ Partnership for K-12 Computer Science, a bipartisan, multi-state initiative organized by Code.org, to build the commonwealth’s existing commitment to STEM education, where Pennsylvania has been recognized as a national leader.

Throughout the summer, PDE leaders will visit educational camps, libraries, and colleges to highlight the importance of STEM education as part of the #SummerOfSTEM tour.

Pennsylvania School Safety Task Force Calls for Strengthening Security, More Mental Health Services, Community Connections

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Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf and Auditor General Eugene DePasquale today announced the common themes that will be addressed in an upcoming report from the Pennsylvania School Safety Task Force, created by Gov. Wolf and the Auditor General in February after the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida. This announcement comes following the passage of Gov. Wolf’s 2018-19 bi-partisan budget, which includes $60 million for a School Safety Fund to strengthen security and mental health services in schools.

Appointed by the governor, the task force held a series of six regional roundtables at schools from April through June to listen to students, parents, school officials, school nurses and other health care professionals, law enforcement, education organizations and community members about their ideas to improve safety and security.

“I commend the work of all those who participated in the task force – especially the students – for providing their incredible perspectives,” said Governor Wolf. “It was clear in every region of the state that keeping our schools safe requires a holistic approach focused on students and our communities so that our classrooms can be focused on learning.

“While I will continue to push for progress on gun safety reform, including universal background checks and keeping guns from dangerous individuals, this work is important to ensure we’re doing everything we can to protect our students and teachers.”

“In the last few months, it’s been my privilege to travel the state meeting students who are deeply invested in each other’s safety,” said Auditor General DePasquale. “This generation of students is smart, informed, and eager to positively impact the world around them. It’s become clear to me during these discussions that each school has its own unique set of challenges – but some major themes remain consistent across the state. Our regional conversations helped identify those themes; now it’s time to take what we learned and turn it into action.”

Based on the expertise and opinions shared during the regional roundtables and hundreds of comments provided through an online feedback form, the task force identified multiple themes, including recommendations, barriers and opportunities. The overarching themes to strengthen school security heard by the task force include:

  • Improved communication and information sharing
  • Enhanced social and emotional learning
  • Increased access to mental health services, including more health professionals in schools
  • Building community connections
  • Effectively integrating law enforcement and school resource officers
  • Providing guidance on establishing priorities for schools
  • Providing schools with more resources

Read the full content of the initial findings here.

Other members of the task force included vice-chairs Derin Myers, Acting Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency; Mark DiRocco, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators; Bonita Allen, President of the Pennsylvania Parent Teacher Association; Judy Morgitan, Immediate Past President of the Pennsylvania Association of School Nurses and Practitioners; and Dolores McCracken, President of the Pennsylvania State Education Association.

Each meeting included over 40 community participants invited by the vice-chairs to create a discussion focused on the needs of that region.

Several members of the Wolf Administration provided support to the task force, including Homeland Security Director Marcus Brown, Education Secretary Pedro Rivera, Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine, Labor & Industry Secretary Jerry Oleksiak, Acting State Police Commissioner Colonel Robert Evanchick, and Human Services, Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Deputy Secretary Lynn Kovich.

The task force plans to release its final report before the start of the 2018-19 school year.

The 2018-19 budget, which the governor signed last week, includes the newly created School Safety Fund, a $60 million investment to help individual school districts meet their local needs by funding a wide variety of programs aimed to keep students and teachers safe.

The funding will be awarded to schools in the form of grants to cover numerous expenses and programs, including physical building upgrades, security equipment, violence prevention education programs, teacher training, alternative education programs, and special and individualized mentoring programs.

Also included is a new program that will allow the Pennsylvania State Police to create three regional Risk and Vulnerability Teams to help schools undergo security and safety assessments.

And, the state will be creating a confidential, statewide tip line that will allow students and teachers to anonymously report potentially dangerous situations or individuals that involve schools.

“This new money aligns with the themes we heard during the task force and will help address the needs of school districts by providing an immediate infusion of funds, so our schools can increase security while creating programs that meet the safety needs of their schools and communities,” Gov. Wolf said.

Education Secretary: State Budget Continues Strong Investments in Students, Job Training

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Harrisburg, PA – State Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera today outlined the investments in education championed by Governor Tom Wolf in the 2018-19 budget and over the last four years that are helping Pennsylvania’s students by restoring education funding, increasing enrollment in kindergarten and pre-k, bolstering graduation rates, and training more students for careers.
“Over the past four years, Governor Wolf has fought hard to reinvest in Pennsylvania’s schools,” Rivera said. “With this increased support, students across Pennsylvania are now learning in smaller classes, with more teachers, and from new and innovative programs developed by their schools.”
Rivera noted that in this year’s budget, Governor Wolf secured an additional $100 million in basic education funding, bringing the total increase over four years to more than $538 million that will be distributed using the fair funding formula enacted by the Wolf Administration in 2016. The formula provides for equitable funding for Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts.
Secretary Rivera added that the 2018-19 budget also lays out a plan to re-imagine how the commonwealth provides workforce training, as well as advancing Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), and Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs.
The budget strengthens the state’s investment in workforce development and job training with a $10 million increase for secondary CTE programs and $30 million to launch the governor’s PAsmart initiative. PAsmart is a first-of-its-kind investment to align and strengthen workforce efforts at multiple state agencies by providing $20 for the fast-growing fields of STEM and computer science education and $10 million to expand apprenticeships and job training.
“By connecting business and industry leaders with educators in our classrooms we ensure our students are learning the skills that are in demand by Pennsylvania employers, specifically STEM and computer science professions,” said Rivera. “In today’s job market, it is more critical than ever that students leave high school with strong academic and technical skills that prepare them for success in college, career and community.”
Pennsylvania has more than 16,000 approved career and technical education programs, and over the past three years the number of CTE students earning industry-recognized credentials has increased by 32.2 percent and the number of credentials earned by students enrolled in CTE programs has increased by 28.4 percent.
The demand for STEM-trained workers also continues to grow, including an estimated 300,000 STEM related jobs available in Pennsylvania in 2018. The commonwealth is a national leader in STEM education, producing the fifth highest number of STEM graduates and is home to second highest number of nationally-recognized STEM ecosystems.
In addition to the PAsmart initiative, the 2018-19 budget includes increases of:
·         $42.5 million for higher education;
·         $15 million for special education;
·         $25 million for pre-school and Head Start programs; and
·         $21.6 million to support early intervention services.
Since Governor Wolf took office, $115 million has been invested in the Pre-K Counts and Head Start Supplemental Assistance programs.
The budget also maintains $1 million in grant funding for It’s on Us PA, launched by the Wolf Administration in 2016, to combat campus sexual violence.
The budget also invests more than $61.4 million for school and community safety, including a $1.4 million increase for the Safe Schools Initiative, which provides grants to schools, police departments, and municipalities to support safer schools.
“This year’s investments further demonstrate the Wolf Administration’s commitment to investing in Pennsylvania’s schools and ensuring students are college and career ready when they graduate,” he added.
For more information about Pennsylvania’s education policies and programs please visit the Department of Education’s website at www.education.pa.gov

DEP Reminds Homeowners to Check for Mine Subsidence Risks

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Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvania homeowners have new tools at their disposal to identify risks and insure their property from underground mine subsidence, thanks to a newly revamped website from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

The new website – www.pamsi.org  – contains information for residents about known underground mine locations and possible risks for subsidence. Recently updated maps show historic mining and known coal-bearing areas that could be affected by mine subsidence from old and abandoned mines.

“Underground mining has a long history in Pennsylvania, and historic mines can still cause subsidence today,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “I encourage all Pennsylvanians to log on and see what their risk is, and to sign up for mine subsidence insurance if needed.”

Cracked foundations, collapsed walls, and even homes sinking into the ground are all possible impacts of underground mine subsidence, which is not typically covered by homeowner’s insurance policies. A subsidence event can occur at any time and cause sudden, significant damage, often exceeding $100,000 or total loss of the structure. Mine subsidence occurs when the ground above an old or abandoned mine cavity collapses.

“DEP is continuously improving our maps and data for underground mining,” said McDonnell. “Our goal is to have the best underground mine mapping easily accessible to anyone who wants to view it, so that residents can know if they could be affected and can easily sign up for mine subsidence insurance if they need it.”

DEP administers low-cost mine subsidence insurance (MSI) coverage through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The average policy of $160,000 costs about $7 a month, and senior citizens are eligible for discounted rates.

Homeowners should visit www.pamsi.org or call 1-800-922-1678 to check if their home is over an abandoned mine and for more information on the Mine Subsidence Insurance Program.

Wolf Administration to save $27.2 Million Through Innovative Electricity Purchasing

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Harrisburg, PA –  Through an innovative approach to shopping for electricity, the Wolf administration will save an estimated $27.2 million through 2022 –  including $4.3 million in savings over the next four years for commonwealth facilities and municipal members of the COSTARS program. This is the third consecutive year the commonwealth will increase savings and decrease per kilowatt hour costs.

“My administration is continuously searching for ways to reduce costs and use innovation to improve efficiencies,” said Governor Wolf.  “This new approach to buying electricity has delivered long-term savings to the state and local governments, and I commend the Department of General Services for implementing this process.”

Before the Department of General Services launched the new approach to shopping for electricity in 2015, the commonwealth purchased electricity on shorter term, 1-2-year contracts. In 2015, the commonwealth adjusted its purchasing approach to longer term, 4-year fixed-price contracts that result in better pricing and budget stability. In addition, the volume of the commonwealth’s purchasing power is leveraged by bundling accounts to receive more favorable pricing – similar to the practices employed by large commercial electric consumers.

The commonwealth also has started the practice of shopping earlier in advance of the current contract expiration dates, allowing for more flexibility in seeking favorable rates.

The energy shopping events are held in cooperation with the Penn State Facilities Engineering Institute (PSFEI) where the institute solicits the electricity accounts of the commonwealth agencies and COSTARS members for lower electricity supplier pricing.

The $27.2 million in total savings covers numerous accounts and term lengths that began to accrue in 2016 and will continue through December 2022.  These savings were generated by lowering the commonwealth’s average load-weighted cost per kilowatt hour from 5.6 cents in 2015, to a current average of 5.2 cents. This average cost includes capacity and transmission charges.

“Through our partnership with the Penn State Facilities Engineering Institute, we’ve been able to develop improved approaches to how we purchase electricity and take advantage of the wholesale market in terms of favorable pricing,” Topper said. “In addition to generating these positive results, we’ve been able to expand the program to COSTARS members and pass the ability to experience those savings onto them.”

In November 2017, the commonwealth expanded its Electricity Procurement Program to COSTARS members. Since the expansion, more than $580,000 in electricity cost savings vs. prior rates have been generated. The COSTARS program allows its members – including municipalities, public authorities, school districts, and certain non-profits – to use state-awarded contracts to purchase a large variety of materials and services at lower prices.

Department of Health Shares Important Tips for Residents to Prepare for Hot Summer Weather

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Harrisburg, PA – As Pennsylvanians prepare to spend more time outdoors, Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine shares important tips to keep families safe in extreme heat this summer.

“We want to make sure Pennsylvania residents enjoy these warmer months but also stay safe,” Dr. Levine said. “It’s important to protect yourself from harmful ultraviolet radiation and stay hydrated to prevent heat-related illnesses.”

Secretary Levine and the Department of Health recommend the following safety tips to help you and your loved ones prepare for the summer weather.

Remember to wear:

  • ​Lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing;
  • A hat or visor;
  • Sunglasses; and
  • SPF 15 or higher sunscreen (reapply as necessary).

To stay hydrated:

  • ​Drink plenty of water throughout the day – don’t wait until you are thirsty!
  • Outdoor workers should drink between two and four cups of water every hour.
  • Avoid consuming caffeinated, alcoholic, or sugary beverages.
  • Replace salt lost from sweating by drinking fruit juice or sports drinks.

To safely exercise:

  • ​Limit outdoor exercise, and stay indoors in air conditioning on hot days.
  • Exercise early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the hottest part of the day. (11 a.m. – 3 p.m.)
  • Pace yourself when you run, walk, or otherwise exert your body.

To protect others:

  • ​Never leave children, older adults, or pets behind in a vehicle.
  • Check on those who may be more at risk from extreme temperatures like:
    • ​Infants and young children
    • ​People ages 65 and older
    • People with chronic medical conditions

It is also important to know the difference between heat-related illnesses, like heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Symptoms of a heat stroke include a high body temperature (above 103°F); red, hot and dry skin, but no sweating; a rapid, strong pulse; throbbing headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion; and unconsciousness.

If you think someone is having a heat stroke, it is important to first call 9-1-1. After calling for help, get the person to a shady area and quickly cool them down by putting them in a tub of cool water or spraying them with a garden hose. You should not give the victim any fluids including water, to drink.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, fainting, and nausea or vomiting.

Help the person cool off and seek medical attention if symptoms are severe, symptoms last more than one hour, or the victim has heart problems or high blood pressure.

During extreme heat waves, cooling centers are opened in cities across Pennsylvania for individuals without air conditioning. To find a cooling center near you, please contact your local municipality or county office.

Additional information on how to prepare for summer weather can be found on the Department of Health’s website at health.pa.gov

Wolf Administration Unveils Additions to Opioid Data Dashboard, Increasing Information for Public Access

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Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf’s multi-agency Opioid Command Center announced the addition of three important datasets to Pennsylvania’s Opioid Data Dashboard, introduced in March.

“The more information we share, the more informed Pennsylvanians can become and the more we can work together to fight this epidemic from all sides,” Governor Wolf said. “The Opioid Command Center agencies are working tirelessly to collect data and make it widely available to health care professionals, treatment facilities, and the public.”

“As the opioid data dashboard grows to include more information, we are moving towards a more complete picture of the impact the disease of opioid-use disorder has on our communities,” Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said. “With this information in hand, communities can work at the grass-roots level to help prevent the disease, rescue those who are in immediate need and get their loved ones into treatment. Treatment works and recovery is possible.”

The newly added datasets include emergency naloxone doses administered by Emergency Medical Services, inmates admitted to prison who self-report opioid use, and naloxone prescriptions filled using Medicaid.

Emergency naloxone doses administered by EMS.
The data depicted in the EMS naloxone map show doses of naloxone administered by emergency medical services (EMS) providers at the scene of an emergency by county. The data are derived from EMS patient care reports completed by certified EMS providers in the field.

Inmates Admitted to Prison who Self-Report Opioid Use
All inmates sentenced to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PA DOC) are assessed upon admission to prison for substance use disorder. The maps included on the dashboard show the percent of all inmates sentenced to PA DOC from each county who indicate that an opioid-based drug caused them the most serious problem, and the percent of all inmates sentenced to PA DOC from each county who indicate that they used an opioid drug in the past 12 months. These maps can be indicators of which areas of the commonwealth are experiencing high opioid use disorder issues related to criminal activity. It should be noted that this is self-report information.

Naloxone Prescriptions Filled Using Medicaid
Naloxone is a covered outpatient drug in the Medical Assistance Program. Everyone on Medicaid has unrestricted access to life-saving naloxone with no limits and no co-pays. The map shows, by county, the number of people on Medicaid filling a prescription for naloxone.

The opioid data dashboard focuses on data sets in the three main areas distinguished by Governor Wolf in his disaster declaration: prevention, rescue and treatment. It also shows data at the county-level.

On January 10, Governor Wolf signed a statewide disaster declaration for the opioid epidemic to enhance state response, increase access to treatment, and save lives. He renewed the 90-day declaration in April and the disaster declaration Opioid Command Center continues to implement the 13 initial initiatives, plus add new ones to combat the epidemic.

Governor Wolf and state agencies have been increasing efforts in the fight against prescription drug abuse in multiple areas, including numerous programs and initiatives:

  • ​Working with the legislature to establish a new law limiting the number of opioids that can be prescribed to a minor and to individuals discharged from emergency rooms to seven days;
  • Strengthening the PDMP through the legislative process so that doctors are required and able to check the system each time they prescribe opioids and benzodiazepines;
  • Forming new prescribing guidelines to help doctors who provide opioid prescriptions to their patients, including guidelines specific to orthopedics and sports medicine;
  • Creating the warm handoff guideline to facilitate referrals from the emergency department to substance abuse treatment;
  • Teaming with the legislature to establish education curriculum on safe prescribing for medical schools; and
  • Awarding four $1 million grants for medication-assisted treatment using a hub and spoke model for Pennsylvanians who are uninsured, under-insured or have private insurance.

For more information on the state’s efforts to battle the opioid epidemic and to view the dashboard, visit https://www.pa.gov/guides/opioid-epidemic/.

Department of Human Services Permanency Conference, “Together We Can,” Focuses on Adoption Successes

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Pocono Mountains, PA – Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Teresa Miller today kicked-off the 26th Annual Pennsylvania Permanency Conference, “Together We Can,” held June 13 through June 15 at Kalahari Resorts and Conventions in the Pocono Mountains.

The three-day event is attended by child welfare professionals, current and prospective foster or adoptive families, kinship care providers, and others with a vested interest in ensuring children are safe, that they have permanent homes and that their well-being needs are met.

“We have had more than 43,000 adoptions in Pennsylvania since our Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN) began in 1992, with 2,145 in 2017,” said Secretary Miller. “Although we are very proud of our accomplishments, we realize there is still work to be done. This conference brings together Pennsylvanians to continue our efforts of finding more ways to reunite children and youth placed in our foster care system safely with their families or find permanent homes for them to grow.”

There are more than 16,000 Pennsylvania children in foster care on any given day and 3,400 who need forever homes.

The permanency conference is designed to:

  • train participants to prepare children and their families on their journey through the child welfare system 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.

Attendees are encouraged to work together to find innovative ways to help participants through the permanency process. 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 in the child welfare system:

  • Brian and Tracey Bender, Dauphin County
  • Robert and Sara Halstead, Bucks County
  • Aishah Holman, Montgomery County
  • Wayne and Lacey Rexroth, Somerset County
  • Michael and Jenna Russell, Dauphin County
  • Joe and Linda Tokay, Lycoming County

Philanthropy Recognition

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

  • DeAnna Runyan, Photographs by DeAnna

Permanency Teamwork Recognition

Teams selected exemplify a collaborative effort to promote the permanency of children with special needs:

  • Briana Stinson, Chester County Department of Children, Youth and Families
  • Kristin Terrell, Chester County Department of Children, Youth and Families
  • Patricia Bolster, KidsPeace
  • Carolyn Dorazio, KidsPeace
  • Brittany Harris, Children’s Choice, Inc.

Permanency Advocate Recognition

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

  • Honorable Katherine B.L. Platt, Court of Common Pleas of Chester County

Independent Living Professional Recognition

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

  • Janice Reindel, Luzerne County Children and Youth Services

Permanency Professional Recognition

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

  • Shadell T. Quinones, Chester County Department of Children, Youth and Families

Youth Advocate Recognition

  • Anthony Simpson, Philadelphia County

SWAN Advisory Committee Outstanding Service to Adoption

  • Phyllis Stevens, Together As Adoptive Parents

To learn more go to www.adoptpakids.org, or call 1-800-585-SWAN. Follow SWAN on Facebook at “Pennsylvania Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network”.