Historically, the Alberta Government had assumed a great deal of the responsibility for services to people with developmental disabilities. Institutional services were the primary service providers and they were almost exclusively within the domain of Alberta Family and Social Services. In the 1970's more and more people with developmental disabilities chose to live in the community and sought appropriate support services. It was during this time that a number of concerned citizens in Red Deer got together to form an organization to provide community based services to these individuals. This organization was incorporated in 1977 as Central Alberta Residence Society or CARS for short. CARS took over the direct operation of two group homes that were being operated by Alberta Family and Social Services as well as purchased two additional homes. CARS started with a client base of 20 people and a staffing component of 17. Also, in listening to families they told us that the largest unmet need was relief services. As a result of this, and with input from families, and government representatives, CARS developed the Host Family Program in the 1980's.
Today, the organization provides supports and services to more than 85 adults and employs approximately 150 staff members. These services include residential and community support, respite, person-centered approaches, self-advocacy and outreach. Central Alberta Residence Society (CARS) is committed to creating, providing and maintaining the best possible supports for people with disabilities, families, communities, and staff.
In 2010, CARS received accreditation through an international non-profit accreditor of health and human services known as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). CARS is committed to continuous improvement and acknowledges the need to provide ongoing and progressive services to people.
As a non-profit society CARS is funded through the Central Region Persons with Developmental Disabilities Program (PDD). For more information or to contact PDD contact http://humanservices.alberta.ca/services-near-you/pdd-central.html