Philosophy of Pathfinder, Inc.
A basic concept of Pathfinder is that all people, regardless of individual differences and intellectual abilities, have an inalienable right to programs and services which are consistent with their needs and helps them to achieve their maximum potential.
Pathfinder, seeks to provide the best possible programs and services for individuals we serve with developmental disabilities and behavioral health needs to expand their growth opportunities. Pathfinder's focus always remains on helping to enrich the quality of life for the people we serve.
Underlying these concepts are the beliefs that:
- All human beings have intrinsic worth regardless of intellectual ability.
- All human beings have potential for development.
- With few exceptions, every human being has both the ability and the duty to contribute something of value to his fellow man.
Our Service Goals
- To help the individuals with developmental disabilities become or remain self-sufficient by seeking to develop personal, social, academic and problem solving skills necessary to function independently in society.
- To protect children and adults who cannot protect themselves from abuse, neglect and exploitation and to help families stay together by providing day programs for individuals with developmental disabilities.
- To arrange for appropriate placement and services which provides the least restrictive environment and which is in the individual's best interest.
Pathfinder, Inc. is a non-profit organization that has been serving children and adults with developmental disabilities for over 50 years. Pathfinder was incorporated in August 1971 with an initial enrollment of 6 students in a preschool program. The licensing agent was Mental Retardation Development Disabilities Services (MR-DDS). As awareness of the services available in the Jacksonville area increased, Pathfinder was approached by a group of concerned parents to make services available to their adult disabled dependents.
The professed goal of Pathfinder was to provide parents and individuals with the option of remaining at home or in the community, rather than seeking institutionalization. Pathfinder, Inc. was governed by a Board of Directors selected from a broad community base. The Board was committed to Non-Discriminatory Delivery of Services and becoming an Affirmative Action Equal Opportunity Employer. The Board of Directors realized the need for a comprehensive array of services and developed the long-term goal of providing services from infant throughout life within the community setting.
Pathfinder, Inc. developed a pilot project for MR-DDS and the Division of Employment Development in 1979. This project demonstrated the feasibility of relocating institutionalized individuals within the community by providing skills training in the world of work as well as self-help living skills training. The project was very successful. Pathfinder placed many individuals with developmental disabilities in competitive employment in the local industry. These individuals were taught specific job skills, developed positive work attitudes, and learned to believe in themselves.
Active treatment plans were developed by interdisciplinary teams of professionals to provide on-going skills training. The treatment plans provided self-help, social, and vocational skills that enabled the consumers to live as independently as possible.
Currently (2022) Pathfinder, Inc. operates 10 ICF/IID facilities that serve 100 consumer, 8 apartment complexes and 2 group homes that serve 114 consumers, and 7 adult day programs which serve approximately 1600 consumers daily.