“Everything in his life has changed…” Clark County’s Family Grants Program
John O’Brien & Connie Lyle O’Brien
Clark County is Washington State’s fastest growing county. Located across the Columbia River from Portland, OR, its population has almost tripled since 1980, growing to 317,000 as suburban development has spread into rural areas around the city of Vancouver and a growing number of industries have settled in the county.
Under the management of the County Board of Commissioners, the Clark County Department of Community Services operates the Developmental Disabilities (DD) Program, mandated by state law to plan, coordinate, and provide services to people with developmental disabilities and their fami- lies.* For more than ten years, the DD Program has thoughtfully followed a systematic process of improving early intervention and adult day services. This process is guided by strategic plans developed and revised with broad community participation to pursue the county’s mission:
Clark County will assist all people with developmental disabilities to have the opportunity to achieve full, active, integrated and productive lives.
The DD Program participates early in initiatives that show promise for increasing the power available to families and people with developmental disabilities and promoting their inclusion in community life. The County DD Program exercises consistent leadership in its partnerships: people from outside the county who represent positive projects find strong partners who expect to shape outside initiatives that contribute to the development of their overall system.