History & Chronology of C.E.R.T.S.
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/November 1997– First 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. Various agency representatives provided data regarding staffing, funding resources and staff/client.
- January 1998 to November 1998– Adopted Vision Statement to provide a smooth transition of students with multiple, severe disabilities from school to a post-age 21 program. 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.
- January 2000 through December 2002 – Performed a nationwide search and collected data on post-age 21 programs. Began considering possible program location, process to acquire non-profit status and developing foundation relationships.
- February 2003 through April 2005 – Established a formal Board of Directors and hired first Executive Director.
- September/October 2006 – Opened the ADULT ACTION CENTER at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd as a certified provider of day services for the Delaware Division of Developmental Disabilities. Four participants attended. Grew to eight participants in one year.
- October 2007 – Moved to 13 Independence Way, Newark with eight participants.
- October 2009 – Became the first MOVE® for Adults Model Site in Delaware (and only the third worldwide).
- July 2011 – Moved to 1501 Casho Mill Road, Newark with 26 attending.
- October 2012 – The Board of Directors voted to expand the mission of C.E.R.T.S. 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. 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 and August 2013 – Ribbon cutting ceremony for a new bus donated by Delaware Transit Corporation. Opened our second site of the Adult Action Center at 699 S. Carter Road, Smyrna, DE.
- January 2020 – Newark site relocated to 52 Reads Way in New Castle. A larger space was needed to accommodate program growth and increased admissions.