The SWAN LSI program has established successful collaborative partnerships with county children and youth agencies, courts, and additional agencies to maximize permanency for waiting children. As a member of the Pennsylvania Technical Assistance, TA Collaborative, SWAN LSI plays an active role to assure statewide consistency with practice. The network of paralegals stay connected through ongoing communication and team meetings. Strong collaborative efforts are the foundation to the success of this program.
- SWAN Senior Program Manager
- The SWAN LSI senior program manager supports the SWAN program administrator by coordinating LSI activities and contract deliverables, overseeing current and anticipated SWAN and Family Design Resources projects and performing as acting program administrator when designated.
- SWAN LSI Division Manager
- The SWAN LSI division manager has overall responsibility to manage and oversee an LSI region. This includes supervising 3-5 SWAN LSI coordinators and supporting their supervision of 8-12 paralegals each. Manager collaborates with other SWAN LSI division managers and acts as a liaison between the county and SWAN prime contractor along with Family Design Resources, Inc.
- SWAN LSI Coordinator
- The SWAN LSI coordinator has the responsibility to supervise and oversee assigned LSI counties and supervision and support of the paralegals. In collaboration with other SWAN LSI coordinators and SWAN LSI division managers, the SWAN LSI coordinator acts as a liaison between the county, SWAN LSI management and the SWAN prime contractor along with Family Design Resources, Inc.
- SWAN LSI Paralegal
- The SWAN LSI paralegal is placed in a county children and youth agency to perform various tasks to expedite permanency. Specific areas of support have included activities related to Dependency Court, Orphan’s Court, adoption and diligent search. Each paralegal is unique with their assigned tasks, as outlined in their job description which is tailored to meet the county’s needs. SWAN LSI program promotes a start to finish model of practice to streamline the legal process in the county.
- Legal Training Division Manager
- The legal training division manager supervises the legal services training specialists in developing and delivering training on child welfare issues; performing research and writing to support all legally-focused components of the Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network; responding to legal inquiries from all members of the network, and providing consultation to all members of the Legal Services Initiative.
- Legal Services Training Specialist
- The Legal Services training specialist develops and delivers legal training on child welfare issues, performs research and writing to support all legally-focused components of the Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network; responds to legal inquiries from all members of the network; and provides consultation to all members of the Legal Services Initiative.
- Adoption Legal Services Project, ALSP, Manager
- The ALSP Manager manages ALSP staff, pro bono volunteer attorneys, and all aspects of daily operations.
- ALSP Staff Attorney
- The ALSP staff attorney works closely with the Allegheny County Office of Children, Youth and Families, CYF, to prepare and litigate termination of parental rights cases; mediate post-adoption contact agreements; and litigate adoption proceedings.
- ALSP Paralegal
- The ALSP paralegal supports the ALSP staff attorneys and the ALSP manager in Orphan’s Court proceedings including all aspects of termination of parental rights, post-adoption contact agreement mediation, and adoption.
The SWAN LSI Steering Committee is comprised of staff members from the SWAN prime contract, Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center, SWAN Helpline and American Bar Association’s Barriers to Permanency Project, as well as county administrators and supervisors, a county solicitor and a county judge. The committee provides ongoing support and feedback on emerging practice and administration issues for the SWAN LSI program. Members support ongoing trainer development activities in consultation with division managers and Legal Services training division managers. Steering Committee members may serve as panel members or trainers at legal training events.
COUNTY ROLES IN SUPERVISION OF SWAN LSI PARALEGALS
Each SWAN LSI county provides an agency liaison who serves as the contact person between the county and the SWAN LSI coordinator. The liaison is responsible for day to day oversight of the SWAN LSI paralegal’s assigned work in the county, is consulted on an ongoing basis with regards to the paralegal’s work performance and effectiveness of the program. Counties identify a county solicitor or other licensed attorney to review and approve any and all legal documents prepared by the SWAN LSI paralegals on behalf of the agency.
STAFF ACTIVITIES AND COMMITTEE INVOLVEMENT
The SWAN LSI paralegals, coordinators and division managers are often asked to participate in a variety of activities, committees and meetings with county staff. These could include county children’s roundtables, adoption day activities, court policy and procedure committees, permanency planning team meetings, multi-disciplinary team meetings, adoption review teams and Independent Living/transition planning committees.
HOW COUNTIES REQUEST A PARALEGAL
County children and youth agencies request LSI paralegal support through the Needs Based Plan and Budget process and in collaboration with their OCYF regional representative.