History

Family Design Resources, Inc. (FDR) was co-founded in 1999 by two well-known Central Pennsylvania social workers, Brenda Lawrence, MSW and Darla Henry, Ph.D, who recognized the need for an agency dedicated to 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, FDR assumed management responsibility for the programs and services administered to children and families through the SWAN contract. Each five-year contract since has been awarded to the partnership of Diakon and FDR.

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 every county. 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 twenty years of operation in 2019, 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.