PACT Inc.—Helping people with disabilities live supported, engaged, and meaningful lives

September 2013 View more

N2013_09_01_048NEIGHParents who have children with developmental disabilities face added challenges. They can easily become overwhelmed trying to find the right services for their children. That’s where PACT Inc. can make such a big difference in their lives. PACT’s goal is to help families identify and easily connect with the support and services their children require.

Forming a PACT

PACT was formed more than 30 years ago by a group of families whose children had developmental disabilities. So, the families formed a “pact” or agreement. They wanted to create an agency that cared for their children when they could no longer do so. Since its humble beginning in 1981, PACT has grown to provide life-spanning services to more than 6,000 individuals annually, including 600 families in Naperville. “PACT is unique because we provide independent case management services yet we are not beholden to any particular agency,” explains Stephen Boisse, PACT’s newly-named executive director. PACT is also the only nonprofit agency in DuPage County that coordinates developmental disability services for clients throughout their entire lives.

“A great deal of our work is partnering alongside families to determine what they are looking for. We help them find the services they need and make sure they remain satisfied with those services,” said Boisse.

Ensuring needs are met throughout life PACT serves clients from newborns to senior citizens through its three main umbrella programs:

1. The Child and Family Connections Program helps families with newborn children, up to age three, with early intervention services. “When parents contact PACT, we determine what their needs are and put together a team to help them receive services as soon as possible,” said Boisse. “Because we know the importance of early intervention, we strive to have services in their home within 45 days.” After age three, the public school system takes over.

2. The Community Services Program helps people with developmental disabilities, over the age of three. This program connects clients with state-funded community services such as residential and employment programs often needed after high school.
3. Life Management Services® helps families create an estate plan and offers special needs trust services. “We ensure their children’s rights are protected, that they have proper health care and that they are not exploited financially,” stated Boisse.

Continuing PACT’s mission

On July 1, 2013, Boisse was named PACT Inc.’s new executive director, replacing Dr. Joseph Straka who retired after 23 years in the position. Boisse, who himself has worked for PACT for 22 years, most recently served as associate executive director and helped guide the agency’s expansion from eight employees to 67. “I am excited to continue my work with PACT. It’s such a great organization to work for.”

Through the years, the needs of its clients have changed, while PACT’s mission remains the same. “We live in a complicated world that requires us to make many decisions. Certainly, over the last 20 years, opportunities have increased requiring people to decide where they want to live, what job they want to have, and where they want to get an education,” Boisse explains. While people with disabilities also want to make these decisions, they find it difficult to do so on their own. “We help families make these decisions and guide them to where their child would get the most fulfillment out of life. We really fill an important niche. It’s great to be able to meet these needs,” said Boisse.

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