The story of DePaul Community Resources began in 1977, following the closing of St. Vincent’s Home in Roanoke. In its place, The Achievement Center Specialized Foster Care Inc. was established as a residential school for children with learning disabilities, which also placed special needs youth in foster care. Over the course of more than 45 years, this organization would evolve into the DePaul we know today—an organization that, like its namesake St. Vincent DePaul, seeks to better the community by improving the lives of children, families, and individuals with disabilities.
DePaul’s initial mission focused on treatment foster care for young people, including those with behavioral or emotional issues, medical and physical disabilities, or developmental delays. Our foster care program later grew to include therapeutic mentoring, independent living, and family reunification services. In 2000, our adoption program was added to prepare foster children and adoptive families with the services and support necessary for each waiting child to find a permanent, forever home. In 2013, all of these programs united to form the Child and Family Services (CFS) division.
Our sponsored residential program was established in 1991 to serve individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities who were aging out of foster care homes as they entered adulthood. The addition of sponsored residential services allowed these individuals to remain in the community and part of a family. Because DePaul understood the importance of increasing self-sufficiency and promoting growth of individuals throughout their lives, not just when they were young, day support centers were created. Today the Developmental Disabilities (DD) division has grown to include two OPTIONS day support centers.
Since our founding, DePaul has grown from a small foster care agency into a diverse organization with 10 service locations statewide. Through our two service divisions, we provide safe homes, permanent families, integrated community support, and opportunities for deep healing all across Virginia.