History

Family Design Resources, Inc. (FDR) was co-founded in 1999 by Brenda Lawrence, MSW, now Executive Director, and Darla Henry, Ph.D to promote training and consultation on permanency for children. Brenda and Darla had both been involved in the Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN) contract since 1995.

In 2000, in partnership with Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries (DLSM), FDR assumed management responsibility for the programs and services administered to children and families through the SWAN contract. The contract was reawarded to the partnership of DLSM and FDR in 2005 and 2010 for a second and third five-year term.

Key services developed and provided through the SWAN contract include Child Preparation, Child Profile, Family Profile, Child Specific Recruitment, Finalization, Placement and Post-Permanency. In 1996, the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, through SWAN, established the Adoption Legal Services Project in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. The program was designed to address delays within the legal process that slowed a child’s move to a permanent family. The program was very successful, developed into the Legal Services Initiative (LSI) and, has been expanded to 65 of 67 counties. The Legal Services Initiative model is known outside of Pennsylvania as the Legal Partnership for Permanency®. For more information on FDR’s work with SWAN, visit www.diakon-swan.org.

Since the agency’s founding, FDR’s scope has extended beyond the borders of child welfare to involve the education, mental health and juvenile justice systems. The agency celebrated ten years of operation in 2009, and looks forward to continued growth and new partnerships.


To learn more about our programs and capabilities or to find out how Family Design Resources can assist your organization, contact us.