PATHS Project

“The founders of Welcome House and West Haven, the Steudel Family, had envisioned that persons with DD could live in group homes or family style homes that replicated as close as possible the kind of living that they were used to growing up.”

The Project

PATHSThis project is specifically designed for the Direct Support Professional (DSP) staff working in the field of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD).

The results have been tremendous and care providers are learning new and exciting skills, taking this learning back to their agencies and exhibiting new confidence and professionalism in their work with individuals with IDD.

This learning does not come easy. Candidates attend community support skill classes taught by a very experienced faculty. They discuss a code of ethics for this field, study with an assigned skill mentor, and complete a portfolio to show how what they’ve learned in our classroom settings can be applied to their actual work sites.

PATHS project history

PATHS 2The PATHS project has been several years in the making. A small group of dedicated stakeholders met in 1997 to first develop the concepts for a more enhanced staff credentialing program, something more than the mandatory statewide training efforts. This group later became the Ohio Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (OADSP). The OADSP worked from 1997 to 2001 to secure funding for this project. The Ohio Provider Resource Association (OPRA) helped the OADSP apply for funding to the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council (ODDC) to create the PATHS project. OPRA continues to be the fiscal agent and supporting entity for this effort. In 2002, the ODDC awarded a three-year funding grant to support OPRA and the OADSP to develop this pilot credentialing program. We have been working in three areas of the state; Cleveland, Toledo and Cincinnati to create this new effort.

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