February, 2019
Living and Loving Life

At 53 years young, Sharon Mancini, pictured to the right, was ready for a transition to more independent living. Her parents knew it was time, but wanted to make sure their daughter, who has cerebral palsy, a seizure disorder and intellectual disability, found the right living arrangement. It all came together in July, 2018, when Sharon moved to supported housing through Freedom Mountains, Inc., located in Pottstown.

In the seven months since Sharon made this momentous move, she has made great strides in achieving a fulfilling lifestyle of her choosing. She’s developed new interests, such as bowling and other games. Her seizures have become much less frequent, and she has taken on many of her activities of daily living.

“She has amazed us beyond our wildest dreams,” said Jill Laverty, Chief Executive Officer at Freedom Mountains, Inc.   Read more
March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month is an opportunity to promote respect for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and educate others about a person's ABILITIES rather than disability. Learn more .

Canine Partners for Life

For the past 30 years, Chester County has been home to Canine Partners for Life, a non-profit organization that trains and places service dogs and home companion dogs to assist individuals with a wide range of physical, neurological and cognitive disabilities. Pictured to the right is Julia and her home companion dog, Bertie.

Tonya Guy is the Associate Director of Communications for Canine Partners for Life. Like many employees there, Guy said began her 15-year association with the organization as a volunteer. “Having a service or companion dog can really be life-changing for someone with a disability. It can improve one’s quality of life and give someone more independence. It may help a child attend public school, rather than being home-schooled. It may give parents peace of mind,” Guy said. Read more
Have Fun at the Bowling Fundraiser!

Support the 2019 Chester County Self Determination Awards Luncheon. Sign up for the Bowling Party Fundraiser at the Bowling Palace in Downingtown. The event is scheduled for Friday, March 16, 6:00 - 8:00 PM. Click for downloadable flier .

Behavioral Health & Respite Services

Caring for a child with behavioral health needs can be a demanding job. Child and Family Focus, Inc. is a non-profit, community based agency contracted by Chester County's Department of Mental Health/Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities to provide respite services for eligible families.
Contact them to find out if your family is eligible for respite services.
Call 484-732-8459 or use this link to visit their website.
Charting the LifeCourse

Throughout our lifespan, we all strive for more than just health and safety. 

Our conversations need to reflect that. We need to talk about our vision of a good life!

Sometimes we start by naming things we don’t want to happen, and then begin to dream about the things we do want to happen. By looking at our own day-to-day experiences, we can quickly see which direction they are leading us. Is it to our vision of a good life?

For more information — www.lifecoursetools.com or www.myODP.org , or contact Darcy Elks, Chester County Family Advisor, PA Family Network at delks@visionforequality.org  or call 1-844-PAFAMILY, or 484-459-0538.
Resources & Training Opportunities

There are several other county departments who send out community newsletters and announcements just like this one. If you're interested, sign up here .

A Path To Hope is holding a community event for parents with information about mental health resources on Saturday, March 2.

The Incredible Years program from Child Guidance in Coatesville.

Mental Health First Aid classes are being offered in Chester County - Check out the fliers at our website

SAVE THE DATE - Hearing Loss Expo set for Nov. 2019

The Peal Center launches new website

Refer Web - Chester County's source for human services
Chester County Department of Mental Health / Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
601 Westtown Road, West Chester, PA

Chester County Commissioners
Administrator: Linda Cox
Deputy Administrator: Bridget Thrash