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Who We Are & How We Help

Guided by faith in God and love for all people, The Salvation Army has served the physical and spiritual needs of humankind since 1865, today we continue this mission in over 100 countries.

Beginning at Ivy House in Philadelphia, The Salvation Army Children’s Services has been caring for the special needs of children since 1915. We serve Southeast Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley, providing foster care, visit coaching, parent education, adoption and post adoption services. We offer our services without discrimination and with the best interest of the children we serve at the forefront of all we do.

As a foster parent or adoptive parent with our program, you will receive close, personalized attention from caring staff and ongoing support throughout your journey.

Our families are able to help the children placed in their care heal and thrive with the knowledge and skills they learn through significant and ongoing training in Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI). TBRI is a trauma-informed parenting intervention that recognizes the impact that trauma has on the brain development of children. Through the TBRI principles of connecting, empowering, and correcting, our families promote attachment, trust, and healing for the children they are caring for.

What makes us special?

  • We are ranked in the top 5% of children’s service agencies monitored by the State of Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, scoring 100% on all agency audit requirements for both our Allentown and Harleysville offices for the past four years in a row.
  • 95% of our foster children stay with just one family--- rather than being transferred between multiple families --- as commonly happens in some agencies.
  • Our smaller program size and case load means we will spend more time getting to know you and providing the services you need.
  • We have compassionate, friendly staff with exceptional experience and expertise.
  • Multiple staff are certified TBRI practitioners, having been trained at the Karyn Purvis Institute for Child Development in Texas.
  • Throughout the foster and adoption process and beyond, we provide resources, support, and guidance for families in all stages of care: foster, adoption, and post-permanency.


  • Florence Rhue- Director of Children's Services
  • Sue Shotwell - Placement Services Director
  • Angie Gillen - Outreach Coordinator
  • Atiya Waters - Orphan Care Ministry Coordinator
  • Debra Springer - Billing Specialist
  • Gabrielle Marcantoni - Resource Family Worker
  • Jessica Jacobs- Office Administrator
  • Julie Farnsworth - Permanency Coordinator
  • Laura Oursler - Permanency Specialist
  • Lisa Auteri - Permanency Specialist
  • Michelle Thomas - Foster Care Caseworker
  • Nicole Hirschman - Foster Care Caseworker
  • Robyn Hubbard - Visit Coach
  • Sindy Berner - Community Resource Specialist
  • Stacy Flick - Family and Permanency Specialist
  • Stefanie Niemira- Visit Coach
  • Sue Burnside - Visitation Coordinator