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SCARC’s Mission


SCARC Inc., an organization serving people with developmental disabilities, is dedicated to the empowerment and support of persons with developmental disabilities and their families. The organization will facilitate partnerships with community resources, assist in maximum community participation, promote individual planning based on choices, preferences and needs, and foster the development of socially valued roles for each person served. 


History of SCARC, Inc.


SCARC, Inc. was formed in 1957 by concerned parents of children with developmental disabilities who could not find services for their children in any established agencies or schools. SCARC was essentially created to meet the needs of these families and their children. The first program developed was a preschool program which was located in the old Monroe School in Hardyston Township in Sussex County. Over the initial years, programs were developed for profoundly disabled children, and then recreation programs appeared. A Day Training program was then developed and funded through the New Jersey Department of Human Services. 

As the children in the preschool programs grew to elementary school age, SCARC developed primary education programs which served the needs of elementary school aged children who did not attend public schools. In fact, SCARC provided the only preschool programs and elementary school programs in Sussex County for several years through the early 1970's.  Also during the 1970’s, SCARC developed an Early Intervention Program which was designed to meet the needs of babies and toddlers with disabilities. SCARC also developed two classes for children with orthopedic disabilities to meet the needs of children with physical disabilities.

As the children grew into adults, and as families of adults with disabilities came forward for help, adult programs were developed. The first day program for adults was developed in the late 1960's. In 1972, SCARC launched our second day program, the Highlands Workshop, establishing it as a separate corporation. These programs were designed to meet the need of adults with disabilities who were not able to become involved in other established programs. During the growth of Federal dollars in the mid-1970's, SCARC developed more adult training programs.  During this time, it was decided to spin off the Highlands Workshop to the New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities, and to concentrate on preschool services and additional adult services. Because of Federal preschool legislation and the willingness of public schools to absorb these programs, SCARC provided its last preschool program during the 1981 school year. Since that time, the Sussex County schools have provided preschool and elementary school programs to children with disabilities

In 1978, SCARC saw the need for residential programs for people with developmental disabilities, and decided to establish a group home for persons with developmental disabilities. The first two homes were opened in 1980 (in Newton and Sparta). 

Throughout the 1980’s through today, SCARC has been in a constant growth mode. Since those first 2 group homes in 1980, SCARC has developed and currently operates 18 group homes, 4 individualized living programs, and numerous supportive living apartments.  These residential settings are located throughout the Sussex County community.

Additionally, SCARC currently operates 8 day programs for adults with developmental disabilities, also located throughout Sussex County. Two of these programs are employment centers where people with disabilities learn job skills and engage in various types of work. Four of these eight programs are our Harvest Home programs, where the people that we serve volunteer in our food pantries and clothing thrift shops, providing food and clothing to needy people within our county. This program is unique in that the people that we serve have an opportunity to “give back” to the community that is so supportive of us. One program is designed to meet the needs to people with developmental disabilities who also have medical frailties as well. Lastly, our Senior Program provides services to people with developmental disabilities who are older and have chosen to retire from paid employment.

SCARC’s Employment Connections, (a supported employment model), has been formed to provide for job placement, on the job training, and ongoing job coaching for people who wish to work in the community. These services were developed as an alternative for those persons who are able to participate in integrated, competitive employment, and currently serve over fifty people.

SCARC also operates Respite Care and Family Support Programs, including our “Just Us Kids” and “Teen Scene” respite care programs.  SCARC’s Community Recreation Program is a comprehensive county-wide recreation program which has been recognized in New Jersey as a quality comprehensive recreation service.  SCARC's Self Advocacy Program allows persons who are served by SCARC to participate in decision making and self-advocacy activities.

SCARC developed the SCARC Foundation, Inc. in 1985 to provide for the future planning needs of families.  SCARC then developed SCARC Guardianship Services, Inc. in 1989 to provide guardianship services to persons with developmental disabilities served by SCARC. 

Since SCARC’s inception, our Board Members and Administrators have been entrepreneurs anxious to meet the needs of persons with developmental disabilities in Sussex County.  SCARC employees and volunteers have taken leadership roles in the development of comprehensive service delivery systems within the Human Services system in Sussex County.  Various Chairpersons and members of coalitions and councils have been SCARC employees.  Because of the growth of the organization, SCARC has developed a management team capable of leading the staff of more than 300 employees.


Latest News & Upcoming Events

SCARC Receives UPS Foundation Grant
Dr. Richard Lecher, President and CEO of SCARC, Inc., announces that the SCARC organization has received a grant of $10,000 from the UPS Foundation of Atlanta, Georgia.

2017 Gordon Shelton Memorial Walk-a-Thon
Gordon Shelton Memorial Walk-A-Thon Sussex County Fair Grounds May 21, 2017 - 11AM-3PM http://scarcwalk2017.kintera.org

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