our history

1950s

Lawrence County Association for Responsible Care (LCARC), formerly P.A.R.C., began as a grassroots group of parents who had children with physical and/or intellectual disabilities. The parents met monthly to discuss concerns and to promote education and services for their children. In 1954, the state of Pennsylvania advocated for public schools to provide education for children with mental disabilities. Locally, a self-contained classroom was established at Lincoln-Garfield elementary school with parents providing the transportation. The original group of parents continued to meet and developed pilot projects to provide other services for their children. In the late 1950’s a vocational training center was established and shortly after, that group split away from P.A.R.C. to become their own organization.

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1960s

P.A.R.C. continued to advocate on behalf of the citizens of Lawrence County with mental disabilities, and established a pre-school program called “LittleBird”, which was eventually renamed Lawrence County Growth & Development Center.

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1970s

Rapid expansions were made with new programs being offered. Adult Education was developed to teach basic living skills to adults. Infant Stimulation Program started, in which Special Education teachers worked with children under age 2. LCARC started their annual Summer Camp, open to children and adolescents with disabilities who lived in Lawrence County. Recreational programs began to offer opportunities for individuals to participate in a variety of activities. Group Homes were opened in 1977 with clients from Polk.

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1980s

During the 1980’s, Pennsylvania began participation in the Waiver Program by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The Agency began opening small homes for former residents of state centers as well as members of the local community. The Early Intervention program became a true Pre-school with morning and afternoon sessions and Linkage Clinics for special therapies. The Adult Education Program became a licensed Day Program. Also, Respite Care became available to families in their own home or licensed settings.

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1990s

As Pennsylvania continued to downsize and close state centers, the Residential Waiver Program expanded. Home Based Waiver services (now known as our In-Home and Community Supports) were available to families who wanted to keep their family member at home with them. LCARC’s day program (ATF) was dually licensed as an Older Adult Daily Living Center and developed into a full-service, community-based activity program. Lawrence County Early Intervention added a children’s day care center to allow more opportunities for integration and play based learning.

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2000s

In the new millennium, there were many changes made to how the Agency approached service provision. Program plans were more person-centered; individual choice and control were promoted. Early Intervention became a home-bound program that focused on family education in a familiar environment. LCARC and other providers across the state began using online mechanisms for reporting incidents, financial planning, budgets, and billing, as well as sharing information about individual plans and progress. The Agency was Qualified as a provider and began preparing assurances for waiver compliance via cost reporting and compliance monitoring.

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2010-Today

The current decade has focused on Quality. Through quality assessments completed annually, LCARC is able to continuously identify opportunities for improving supports and services. The Agency has a robust Quality Management Program that involves management, Direct Support Staff, and consumers. LCARC’s Adult Training Facility strives to focus on Community Participation compliance with CMS’s Home and Community Rule. This encourages providers to find unique ways to involve individuals in their local community. Services are intended to support and enhance everyday life. Individuals are encouraged to join community clubs and activities, pursue employment and form healthy relationships that will increase their independence.

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