ODP Supporting Families Lead Candi Walton points up toward a screen from a podium

PA Regional Collaboratives For Supporting Families Summit Brings Together Naturally-Connected Communities

The 2023 Pennsylvania Regional Collaboratives For Supporting Families Summit sponsored by the Pennsylvania Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) was held August 14 and 15, 2023. Pennsylvania’s Regional Collaboratives for Supporting Families are naturally-connected communities in which ODP stakeholders from all walks of life create local networks of support for the families of individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities and/or autism.

August’s summit saw the first in-person gathering of Pennsylvania’s Regional Collaboratives since 2019. Over 100 members of PA regional collaboratives met in State College, PA, while another 50 met online through the event’s hybrid platform, to discuss and share strategies of support that have offered positive outcomes. The event featured two keynote speakers including Nancy Richey, Member of the National Raise Committee for Supporting Family Caregivers, and Corey Ferguson, Manager of the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities.

ODP Supporting Families Leadership applaud the winners of the Engagement Champion Awards.
Supporting Families Statewide Leadership Cathy Traini (left) and Candi Walton (right) present the Engagement Champion Awards

During the evening reception on August 14th, the Supporting Families Statewide Leadership team presented Engagement Champion awards to three regional collaboratives:

  • Bradford/Sullivan
  • The Butler Collaborative which includes Armstrong, Indiana, Beaver, Butler and Lawrence Counties
  • The HMJ Collaborative (Huntingdon/Mifflin/Juniata)

Recipients were chosen using the principles of diversity, inclusion, integration, and growth as the rationale for understanding that “Community Engagement” is defined as “a strategic process with the specific purpose of working with identified groups of people, whether they are connected by geographic location, special interest, or affiliation to identify and address issues affecting their well-being.” 

ODP thanks Pennsylvania’s Regional Collaboratives for their vital work in supporting families across the Commonwealth!