Located in La Porte, Indiana, Parents and Friends is promoting and preserving the independence of the elderly and disabled daily. We help over 70 individuals live an independent life through our services. Parents and Friends is a vital part of serving the community. We give our clients dignity and present opportunities for physical, intellectual, social and emotional development. Our clients are our motivation.
Please take a moment to view this site to see how we can be of service to you or someone you love. Feel free to contact us with your questions and concerns.
Posted:Sunday, March 15, 2015 4:56pm
By MATT CHRISTY
Carl Scott, CEO of Parents and Friends, Inc.
This month has been designated "Disability Awareness Month" by the governor of Indiana to celebrate and recognize those people with disabilities.
However, one La Porte County group dedicates every day to that cause.
Since 1976, Parents and Friends Inc.,a non-profit agency, currently supports around 150 local disabled individuals.
Carl Scott, 67, of Porter personally has been in the business of supporting the disabled for 40 years. As Chief Executive Officer of Parents and Friends Inc,a company he has been with for 15 years, Scott hopes to pass along the message that just because someone is disabled, doesn't mean they are any different than anyone else on the inside.
"Just remember, like you and I, there is a person in there," Scott said. "That person can't express what they feel, what they think, what they want, what they need as well as we do. But if we can remember that there is a person inside that has all those feelings,' when we see them we will understand."
When people realize this, Scott stated, it is easier to try and figure out what they are saying, feeling, and what they want and need.
"Because all of us want those things and need things," he said. "They are no different."
Before graduating from Indiana University with a Master's Degree in Health Administration, Scott grew up in Gary with a nephew who was disabled.
"I thought this is a normal thing for me to work in this setting. I brought to this setting the idea that there is a person in there because I grew up with that person and I know that," Scott said." So that's the feeling and those are the things I try to instill in our Directors who instill that in our Direct Care Professionals."
While Disability Awareness Month honors those with disabilities, Scott said the month also honors those who work with them.
"This is a very difficult field to work in," Scott said. "Everyone can't do it. It takes a special person to be able to deal with the issues that come up on a daily basis."
Parents and Friends have about 140 employees altogether throughout the county.
"We just got lucky," Scott said. "We have some of the best and most skilled employees around."
Scott said many other jobs don't hold employees to that much responsibility. They come to work, they do their job, and they leave any responsibility they have at the door on their way out.
Working with the disabled, Scott says, puts a person's life in your hands. As mandated reporters, not reporting something that happened to a client can even lead to prosecution.
"It's a very important job and a highly skilled job," Scott said. "The only way you do that is you have some calling or you have some reason to want to do it."
Scott spoke of employees who would take clients to movies, to Cubs games, to dinner, or car shows-all on their own time.
"A lot of times they're doing it out of their love for that client," Scott said. "They want to support them and what they're doing and what their desires are."
Parents and Friends have four different client houses in the county. They also have Butterfly Gardens on Andrew Avenue in La Porte, built with grant money, which consists of five duplex apartments with three bedrooms each.
Scott spoke of how client care is individualized to the client. Some may need 24 hour care, some only need 10 hours a week.
"Every person's goals and every person's support systems are setup separately," Scott said.
Eighty-five percent of Parents and Friends funds come from Medicaid, while the remaining 15 percent comes from grants, fundraisers and donations; a number which Scott said he'd like to see increased.
"(We're) basically on a fixed income, so if we want to do more, we have to get that money from fundraisers, from donations, from folks out in the community, from grants," Scott said.
Those wishing to help out Parents and Friends and the 150 disabled individuals they support, can help through the fundraising events they offer, which include a golf outing put on every year, a run that is being planned and an annual dinner which honors staff.
Parents and Friends is located at 2354 N. U.S. HWY 35 in La Porte. More information can be found on their website at www.pafinc.net.
"Input mechanisms and the use of stakeholder input are important features of a dynamic organization. PAF does exceptionally well in this area. Not only are a variety of mechanisms in place, but the organization uses the input and feedback for continuous quality improvement in all its operations. The Pay Day News, CARF Hotline, and leadership's attendance at critical staff meetings are examples of the emphasis PAF places on utilizing stakeholder input".
Would you like some information that you can take with you on Parents and Friends, Inc and its services? Download our brochure here.