The Pioneer Center for Human Services, in McHenry (IL) has been working with the Temple University Collaborative Consulting Service for the past few years to help them broaden and strengthen their commitment to mental health services focused on community inclusion outcomes. In the Summer of 2015, the Pioneer Center asked Temple to conduct an evaluation of their community inclusion policies, programs, and practices, which resulted in both a ‘formative evaluation report detailing their progress thus far and a 15-minute video that captures the voices of service recipients, provider staff, agency administrators, and community members with regard to their engagement in community inclusion programming. We also created a video for this project, which features interviews from community members and industry that you can watch.
Over the past two years, the Pioneer Center has indeed re-invented itself, working more closely than ever with individual service recipients to help them set and meet new goals focused on community participation. The Center has retrained staff, hired new ‘community inclusion specialists,’ identified public and philanthropic funds to support its new initiative, and begun to revise its mission. Although this emphasis on what is now referred to as ‘community inclusion’ had begun as a special initiative, community inclusion is now the framework for a broader and deeper re-orientation of Pioneer Center’s fundamental goals. This report provides an early look at and assessment of Pioneer Center’s progress in that regard. (with quotes from service recipients, staff, and Pioneer Center executive leadership).