The Developmental Programs Division of Catholic Social Services offers persons with intellectual disabilities a continuum of care designed to enhance their quality of life by promoting individuality, empowering personal choice, promoting dignity and respect, and nourishing a family spirit rooted in Christian faith and values. Dedicated and caring staff enable these individuals to flourish, to find happiness with dignity, and to participate in the mainstream of society. The division manages residential and community-based programs for adults and children who have intellectual disabilities or are developmentally delayed, in partnership with state and county offices of Developmental Programs and Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services.

Community Programs

Community Living Arrangements: Divine Providence Village also operates eight Community Living Arrangements (CLA), each of which serves intellectually disabled adults living in a private home setting within the community.

Life Sharing Through Family Living: Life Sharing Through Family Living is a family based residential model providing long-term personal care and individual training to 60 intellectually disabled persons of all ages and functional levels. Clients come from private licensed facilities, community living arrangements, the community and other congregate care facilities.

In-Home Support: This program offers support and access to services for persons with developmental disabilities who are living in the community. It is funded by the state and local offices for Developmental Programs.

Community Outreach Programs (COP): The Community Outreach Program is headquartered at the new Don Guanella Village Day Programs site in Secane, PA, and provides recreational, social and spiritual enrichment programming for adults with mental retardation who live at home or in community settings. The COP group has about 100 members, of whom 50 are regular participants.

Don Guanella Village

Don Guanella Village began as a large campus located in Springfield, Delaware County that wass home to the Don Guanella School for teenage boys with developmental delays, and the Cardinal Krol Center for developmentally disabled adult men. The Village was also home to the Work Activity Center and Adult Training Facility, which serve both men and women. The Don Guanella School was established by the Servants of Charity in 1960 as a residential education program for boys and young men. The Servants of Charity, like the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence, are members of the Guanellian family of caregivers dedicated to serving men and women with cognitive and developmental disabilities.

In 2013, the Don Guanella Village (DGV) community of residents, families, staff, and key stakeholders undertook a multi-year journey from a campus-based program to a group home model. A comprehensive plan is now in place to move most of DGV’s 127 men into 10 group homes within two years. Some men now reside in newly constructed homes on parish properties such as Notre Dame de Lourdes in Swarthmore, while others live in existing homes located in attractive neighborhoods in Delaware and Chester counties.  The administrative offices of the division moved to St. Gabriel parish school in Norwood, and the Day Programs, which serve 275 clients, to Our Lady of Fatima parish school in Secane.

Since community living may not be appropriate for those with intensive medical needs, some of the more medically fragile DGV men will relocate to the DPV campus. To address the increasing need for a continuum of care for this aging population, the Church has set aside a parcel of land adjacent to  the existing DGV property, where a mini-campus of three mid-sized group homes will serve 30 men with the need for more intensive and specialized medical care there. The DGV families have shown active support in a productive partnership on this journey. Ever rooted in Guanellian vision and values to assist the intellectually and physically disabled, DGV is engaged in a veritable rebirth of service delivery within a community-based model. The future is indeed bright as we continue our mission in new and exciting ways.

Divine Providence Village

Divine Providence Village traces its roots to St. Mary’s Center in Elverson, a residence for young women with mental retardation founded by the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence in 1948. The program assumed the new name of Divine Providence Village when it moved to its current Springfield campus in 1984, where six community-style cottages house 16 women each. Ninety-six residents with mild to severe developmental disabilities receive 24-hour nursing supervision, personal care assistance, and individualized programs of physical, occupational, speech and behavioral therapy. Many women have lived at the Village for over a decade, enjoying daily religious services in a campus chapel, and a full range of recreational and social activities.

St. Edmond’s Home for Children

St. Edmond’s Home for Children provides comprehensive care for 40 boys and girls with mental retardation, cerebral palsy and various genetic disorders. Established in 1916 in response to the crippling polio epidemic, St. Edmond’s was staffed for much of its history by the Sisters of Bon Secours. Inspired by that same devotion to these special children, dedicated lay staff at St. Edmond’s today offer 24-hour nursing and therapeutic care to meet their physical, occupational, speech and recreational therapy needs. A beautiful campus in Rosemont. PA offers a multi-sensory environment and state-of-the-art facilities and equipment. St. Edmond’s Home provides social workers and counselors to assist families to be fully involved in the ongoing care of their children while in residence. Case managers, advocates, and volunteers from the Women’s Auxiliary all collaborate to ensure the highest quality of life and care for each child.