History & Chronology of C.E.R.T.S., Inc.
There was a recognized need for a program for young adults with multiple, severe disabilities after they transitioned out of the public school system. Since they require total care, this would be a very unique and specialized program with a high ratio of staff to participants.
- September 1997 – Post Age 21 multi-agency meeting attended by Easter Seals, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Mary Campbell Center, ARC, United Cerebral Palsy, Colonial School District, legislators, parents, educators to discuss areas of need and programming.
- November 1997 – Various agency representatives met to provide data regarding staffing, funding resources, staff/client ratios.
- January 1998 – Adopted Vision Statement – to provide a smooth transition of students with multiple, severe disabilities from school to a post-age 21 program.
- November 1998 – Began to develop working relationships with new Division of Mental Retardation vendors and prepared presentation to Joint Finance Committee.
- February through May 1999 – Visited other day habilitation programs to collect data on their operations and staffing.
- November 1999 – Legislative Breakfast at Leach School to discuss vision and mission for this unique program.
- January 2000 – Performed a nationwide search and collected data on Post 21 age programs.
- December 2002 – Work began on searching for a program location, developing nonprofit status, hiring a director, developing funders.
- February 2003 – Established a formal Board of Directors.
- April 2005 – Hired first Executive Director.
- September 2006 – Became a certified provider of day services for Delaware Division of Developmental Disabilities.
- October 2006 – Opened the ADULT ACTION CENTER at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Foulk Road, Wilmington, DE. Four participants attended.
- October 2007 – Moved to new location at 13 Independence Way, Newark, DE. Space leased from the Exceptional Care Facility (a palliative care center for children). Eight Participants in Program.
- October 2009 – Became the first MOVE® for Adults Model Site in Delaware (and only the third worldwide).
- July 2011 – Moved to larger location at 1501 Casho Mill Road, at the corner of Casho Mill and Elkton Roads. This was due to full capacity at the Exceptional Care location.
- October 2012 – The Board of Directors voted to expand the mission of C.E.R.T.S., Inc. to include more than young adults transitioning from school to adult life. The mission now includes adults of all ages who are able to participate in an active, movement oriented day program: The mission of C.E.R.T.S., Inc. is to enrich the lives of adults with multiple, severe disabilities and their families through an active, personalized day program. The admission criterion has been adjusted to ensure that only adults who can handle an active day program are admitted.
- July 2013 – Ribbon cutting ceremony for a new bus donated by Delaware Transit Corporation.
- August 2013 – Opened our second site of the Adult Action Center at 699 S. Carter Road, Smyrna, DE.