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Posted on: December 10, 2013

Westmoreland County Hosts Permanency Practice Summit December 11th at Ferrante’s Lakeside

Westmoreland County Hosts Permanency Practice Summit December 11th at Ferrante’s Lakeside
Topic is permanency planning

Release: 10 December 2013
Contact: Shara Saveikis
Children’s Bureau, Department of Human Services, Westmoreland County

Shara Saveikis, MSW, Executive Director of Westmoreland County Children’s Bureau, and the Honorable Christopher Feliciani will be hosting the Permanency Practice Summit December 11th at Ferrante’s Lakeside in Greensburg from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Scheduled to attend are professionals from the court system, attorneys, social workers, paralegals, caseworkers and their supervisors, CASA volunteers and other non-profit partners, and all three Westmoreland County Commissioners.
A variety of speakers will Inform those involved with the court system and contract agencies on concurrent planning—the “how to’s” of developing the two plans required when a child enters the Children’s Bureau system: a plan to achieve reunification with parent(s), as well as a second plan to identify the path to alternate placement, such as adoption or entering a foster home. Concurrent planning was first identified through federal legislation, (The Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997) and is supported by State Bulletin #3130-12-03, issued May 11, 2012 and effective July 1, 2013.
In the morning, Heidi Redlich Epstein, JD, MSW, of the American Bar Association, will speak on Concurrent Planning –Overview and Implementation. Afternoon sessions feature panel discussions:
• Best Practices to Success, moderated by Christy Stanek, MSW, Judicial Analyst.
• Independent Living Youth Panel, featuring 18 to 21 year olds involved with Children’s Bureau, one of whom is a ‘graduate’ and now a foster parent.
• Family Connections Panel -- participants in the Family Group Decision Making and Family Finding models, which utilizes a team approach to bring together as many members of a child’s extended family and close friends as possible to devise a support system for the child. The team may identify a family unit to take custody of the child or host him/her for holidays, for example. If old enough, the child participates in this planning.
• Resource Parent Panel--successful foster parents sharing lessons-learned, stories, experiences.
For more information about Westmoreland County Human Services and the Children’s Bureau, log on to http://www.co.westmoreland.pa.us and click on Human Services.

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