We exist because we care about our people. We will continually innovate and endure for the same reason.
Journey Found was incorporated by a committed group of guardians on May 16, 2013 to provide continuity of care to 51 individuals previously served by another provider. When that organization opted to no longer do business with the state of CT after 16 years of providing services, Journey Found was created to assume contracts and services July 1, 2013 with no disruption for those enrolled in the programs.
This odyssey not only preserved services for those 51 individuals and jobs for the 192 staff, but also began a much-needed process of culture change and values clarification. The organization went from a top down, compliance-focused structure (with senior leadership remote to the process and located in a neighboring state) to a vision-driven agency committed to quality and governed by families.
Given our history and the liberating experience of becoming our own nonprofit,
we aspire to be a different kind of agency:
In 1 year:Referrals for services will be assessed differently and staff awareness of creative alternatives for individuals in residential care will increase.
In 3 YearsJourney Found will have increased involvement of individuals and families in the hiring process; the self-advocate group will have grown and be active in agency activities and planning and there will be more individuals served by Journey Found in their own homes or in community settings.
In 5 Years:
Journey Found will have more options for individuals including supports of brief duration, crisis services and person centered residential services for those needing 24 hour supports.
In 10 Years:
The number of individuals being served by Journey Found in less than 24/7 supports will at least equal the number in residential supports and residential supports will be provided in innovative ways including parents and couples with disabilities keeping the family structure intact.
The mission of Journey Found is to provide behavioral, residential and other support services to individuals of Connecticut with pervasive developmental disorders and intellectual disabilities to enable each to become what they are capable of being.
To fulfill our mission, we strive to provide a supportive and caring environment where individuals with special individualized needs are treated with respect and with dignity and are offered opportunities to function as productive members of their community. We are committed to the pursuit of excellence and innovation by implementing the highest standards in behavioral therapies, rehabilitative services and residential care. continuously educating our staff about best practices and creating a work place where creativity and innovation are encouraged and rewarded.
Philosophy & Values
Journey Found has committed to pursuing organizational and systems change that will result in clearly person-driven services, not only within Journey found but also in the state. Our values are: Support, Respect, Excellence and Community.
To fulfill our mission, we strive to provide a supportive and caring environment where individuals with special individualized needs are treated with respect and dignity and are offered opportunities to function as productive members of their community.
We are committed to the pursuit of excellence and innovation by implementing the highest standards in behavioral therapies, rehabilitative services and residential care, continuously educating our staff about best practices and creating a workplace where creativity and innovation are encouraged and rewarded.
From Our Chief Executive Officer
Tracey B. Walker / Chief Executive Officer
We are leading a culture change that firmly places the people we work for and their families first in organizational priorities.
In retrospect, the transition from a large, multistate parent organization to Journey Found was the best thing that could have happened to us. Overnight we went from being part of a hierarchical, top-down organization to a family-founded, person-centered organization. This culture shift is of paramount importance to the agency’s ability to serve the people we work for in quality ways and to remain vital as an organization.
For those of you who are learning about us, I am the proud, first CEO of Journey Found. I worked with the founding board to establish this new nonprofit in 2013. Our story is truly inspiring – but we’re just getting started. I encourage you to learn about our amazing Leadership Team and Board, who have committed to creating an environment where people are served with genuine caring, everyone at all levels is valued, families are involved and standards are high.
All of my experience is with nonprofit organizations and has spanned both very local agencies and statewide services. My 35-year career in Connecticut has included advocacy and statewide work on behalf of nonprofit service agencies at the CT Council of Family Service Agencies, CT Association of Nonprofits, and the CT Youth Services Association. I have worked for two other developmental disabilities organizations as senior leadership and/or Executive Director: the Institute for Professional Practice and Hockanum Industries. For 14 years I was at Quinebaug Valley Youth & Family Services and held increasing leadership positions, including my final position there as Assistant Executive Director. I began my career in youth services as direct care staff in a group home for adolescent girls and as an instructional assistant with first grade students.
As CEO of Journey Found, I have the good fortune to have established strong relationships with my Board, DDS, staff, the people we work for and families. It is my honor to lead Journey Found through the profound changes that will be occurring over the next several years. Working together, we can create a system and culture where people with disabilities and their families will truly be in charge of their own lives and experience the same potential quality of life as those who are without disabilities.