The Imagine Different Coalition, formed in May of 2014, is a group of parents, advocates, and other professionals from across the state that has emerged out of a grant from the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council awarded to the PEAL Center in July 2012.
The emphasis of the grant was to “develop resources to assist families and service providers with transitioning children living in congregate settings to community settings with loving families” and “promote system change by increasing awareness of the scope of congregate care and providing materials, training, technical assistance, and consultation to families and stakeholders who can assist children living in facilities to move to families.”
The workplan for the grant called for development of materials and training in their use. Three workbooks were developed to help users imagine and achieve supported family life as an alternative to congregate care.
The project’s Advisory Committee realized that merely disseminating Workbooks and training stakeholders on their use was just a first step towards the changes needed in PA for all children to grow up in families in the community. Interest and momentum grew among the network of people across Pennsylvania interested in creating alternatives for children growing up in congregate care, and the Coalition was born. The DD Council grant was used to launch the Imagine Different Coalition.