Project STAR history
Project STAR began in October 1985 as a collaborative effort of The Children's Institute, Three Rivers Adoption Council (TRAC) and Allegheny County Office of Children, Youth and Families.
The original purpose of Project STAR was to find permanent families for children with developmental disabilities. Our collaborative partners believed that children with developmental disabilities were adoptable if families received full information about these children and comprehensive education and training specific to the child they hoped to adopt.
The acronym STAR originally stood for “Specialized Training for Adoption Readiness.”
While Project STAR services have expanded over the years to meet the needs of children and families in western Pennsylvania, adoption of children with special needs remains a major focus. Today, Project STAR at The Children’s Institute retains the acronym to symbolize the lengths to which its committed staff will reach to ensure safe, permanent homes for children.
In 1990, Project STAR successfully opened an office in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, which allows us to reach even more children in need.
Project STAR awards
2005 Congressional Angels in Adoption™ Award
2004 Adoption Excellence Award for Support for Adoptive Families (United States Department of Health and Human Services)
2000 Pennsylvania Department of Health Outstanding Provider Award for Services to Children and Families
1999 SWAN (Pennsylvania Statewide Adoption Network) Hall of Fame Award for Child Specific Recruitment