Celebrating Ten Years of the Lilly Reintegration Awards - Where Are They Now?
CareLink Community Support Services/Concord Road Residential Program, Havertown, PA
1999 Lilly Reintegration Award Winner, Social Work
Since its formation 47 years ago, CareLink has been providing people in southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, with quality psychosocial rehabilitation services, and helping them to live full and productive lives. In 1999, the organization received a 3rd place Lilly Reintegration Award for its efforts.
CareLink won for a special program – the Concord Road Residential Program in Delaware County. Eileen Joseph, CareLink’s President and CEO, remembers what it was like to win: “It was quite a surprise and very exciting,” she said, “because it was such a small program, serving just three individuals”.
While it is true that the program was small, it was by no means insignificant. The Concord Road program was started in 1998 when the area’s state hospital was closed, displacing many staff and patients. It was at that point that CareLink became involved with three of those patients – older women who had spent upwards of twenty years in the hospital and who now had nowhere to turn. CareLink began its involvement with the women while they were still in the hospital – gaining their trust and confidence until they eventually moved them to a 3-bedroom home (pictured) with on-site staff 24 hours a day to offer supports.
This move was to be more than just a roof over the heads of these women. CareLink staff worked with them to help them to regain their independence and reintegrate into the community. Of the original three women, one remains at the home today and with CareLink’s help, she has been able to reclaim a great deal of her independence. She is active at the local church, engages in recreational activities with other seniors in her community and lives a full life – something that would have been impossible had the organization not intervened.
CareLink has stayed loyal to the Concord Road program over the years and there are no plans to expand (though CareLink provides psychosocial rehabilitation services to other individuals and groups and most recently opened a supported-living residence for young adults). There are currently three women living at the Concord Road home (including the one original resident), supported by twelve staff members who provide the residents with extensive community integration services.
Since winning the Lilly Reintegration award, the program has helped seven women to become more active members of their community. The goal of the program remains to help residents transition to more independent living, or as Eileen Joseph puts it, “Our mission affords individuals the opportunities for their own recovery, wellness and self-determination.”