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The mission of Queens Centers for Progress is to provide individually-designed services to people of all ages who have developmental disabilities. The goal of these services is to maximize the range and quality of independent life choices available to the individuals and their families.
Queens Centers for Progress (QCP) was founded in 1950 as United Cerebral Palsy of Queens, by a group of parents who needed services for their children with cerebral palsy. In the early 1970s, in response to the de-institutionalization movement, agencies like UCP of Queens began to expand their services. Over the years, they added residential care, day habilitation services, vocational services, services for seniors, and several Intermediate Care Facilities and Individual Residential Alternative houses. In 2001, to reflect the wide variety of developmental disabilities served by their programs, UCP of Queens became Queens Centers for Progress. While no longer affiliated with the UCP national organization, QCP maintains a strong affiliation with Cerebral Palsy Association of New York State (CP/NYS) and the other 23 CP affiliates in New York.
Today, QCP serves more than 1,500 individuals with a staff of more than 600 and an annual budget of approximately $35 million. QCP serves people of all ages, from toddlers to the elderly, and touches all aspects of life, including: providing a place to live and work; health care; hygiene and life skills training; education; and therapy; and vocational training and recreation. At the core of all the agency’s services is the deeply held belief in the development of the individual. QCP believes that all people can learn and that all people – in spite of any developmental disability – can make meaningful choices about their lives.
With funding from federal, state, and local government sources, contract services, and private contributions, the key programs and services provided by QCP include day programs, job training and placement, service coordination, housing, education, therapy, advocacy and many other support services to help people with developmental disabilities lead fuller lives.
To learn more about their programs and services, go to www.queenscp.org/what-we-do/.
Queens Centers for Progress has provided Adult Services since the 1960’s. Today, the Adult Services component represents the largest part of the agency’s overall budget.
• Residential Services – QCP operates six Intermediate Care Facilities (ICFs) and three Residential Alternatives (IRAs), serving the needs of 78 adults with developmental disabilities. Five of the six ICFs are located at the Bellerose Center, a campus-like setting. Each residence provides a safe home-like environment where individuals can increase their daily living skills, relax after returning from daytime activities, and participate in recreational and social activities.
• Day Habilitation – QCP’s programs are built around individually designed services to promote independent community living skills. Many Day Habilitation activities take place in the community, where participants learn travel and money handling skills and community safety awareness, and volunteer in parks, libraries, animal shelters, churches, synagogues, schools, and senior centers.
• Geriatric Day Services – Also known as the Community Connections Center, provide recreation and leisure opportunities such as art, music, cooking, games, photography, retirement planning, advocacy services, and health education for individuals who want to retire completely or on a part-time basis.
• Pre-Vocational Work Center – The Worksource Pre-Vocational Center partners with local businesses to offer the opportunity for participants to learn the behavioral skills necessary for success on the job, such as the importance of attendance and punctuality, how to take instruction and feedback about work performance, getting along with supervisors and co-workers, and other general skills that apply in all work settings.
• Community Based Employment – The Workforce Supported Employment Program works with approximately two-hundred people who have been placed on jobs in the community, working alongside their non-disabled co-workers, in settings such as department stores, supermarkets, restaurants, and offices.
• Service Coordination – QCP’s Service Coordination office helps people with developmental disabilities and their families access the necessary services and supports that are appropriate to their needs. The service coordinator is an advocate and facilitator, working with the individual and his or her family.
• Clinical Services – QCP’s Clinic is certified under Article 16 of the New York State mental hygiene law by the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). In addition to information and referral, the Clinic’s services include: Psychological testing, Mental status evaluation, Psycho-Sexual Assessment, Vocational evaluation, and Social Work Assessment.
• Community Habilitation – These services train individuals with developmental disabilities to perform household chores, daily hygiene and grooming, learn about personal health care, and explore new experiences. QCP helps people develop skills in the areas of travel and mobility, financial management, social behaviors, and other daily activities.
• Family Support – Family Support provides funding for a range of services to people who currently are not able to access Medicaid, SSI, or other resources.
• Friday Night Socials – On Friday nights, QCP opens its doors to more than 300 people who come to meet their friends, socialize, and dance. Those attending include not only people served by QCP, but also individuals served by many other agencies in Queens.
For over sixty years, the Queens Centers for Progress Children’s Center has been providing superior services to families in the community; the Children’s Center offers an array of options for parents of both typically developing (non-disabled) preschoolers and children with disabilities from ages 5 to 21, including:
• Preschool - The APPLE (A Preschool Program for Learning and Enrichment) program offers a comprehensive array of educational and therapeutic services for children with disabilities aged three to five.
• Apple Tree Universal Pre-Kindergarten – A free program for four-year-olds, run in collaboration with the New York City Department of Education. It is part of a statewide program to prepare children for school, by giving them early experiences in a classroom setting with structured activities.
• The Children’s Center School currently serves children aged five to twenty-one, with multiple disabilities who cannot be mainstreamed into the public school system, providing training in cognitive, motor, socialization and communication skills, as well as traditional school subjects.
• The Early Childhood Direction Center (ECDC) is one of fourteen centers statewide that serves as an information resource for parents who suspect their child (from birth to five years of age) may have a developmental delay. It is often a first step to link families to the services their children may need.