Core Values/Agency Philosophy

Our most important core value is the provision and delivery of our services in a consumer- oriented fashion. Specifically, our Core Values are guided by our Agency philosophy which was developed in 1977, by Founder James Kelsch, when the Agency began. We believe that our philosophy is a respectful, thoughtful guide for how we should all interact with each other. This philosophy is the “backbone” of the Agency.

We believe:

1.  Consumers have the right to participate in decisions affecting their welfare.

2. The basic process for promoting consumer growth involves:

  • doing for the person
  • doing with the person and,
  • having the person do for him/herself

      This process helps to avoid dependency.

3.  When there is a difficulty with a consumer we:

  • look at the programming and environment
  • look at our own (staff’s) involvement and participation and,
  • look at the consumer’s involvement.

4.  People have a tendency of meeting your expectations. Keep the expectations at an appropriate level for the individual and share in the joy of success. Be sensitive if/when goals aren't met. Avoid scapegoating and labeling.

5.  Every person is individual and unique and should be treated in an individual and unique manner. What works with one person may not work with another. Be willing to adjust your approaches.

6.  Be what you say you are; do what you say you’ll do. Make sure you can keep a promise, or don’t make it. Keep your commitments.

7.  Maintain a non-judgmental attitude. Be sensitive to value differences.

8.  Explain your feelings in terms of Event(s), Effect and Emotion. Avoid put-down phrases starting with “You….”. This step helps reduce defensiveness by the responding party.

9.  Avoid overuse of the words Always, Should and Never. These words are too absolute.

10.  Remember, people change and people grow. There is no such thing as a “problem person” only a lack of adequate solutions. Be persistent and creative with solutions.


In addition to the philosophy we possess the following Core Values:

  • Flexibility and sensitivity to routines
  • Empathy and the ability to listen
  • Willingness to learn from a consumer
  • Unconditional regard for those being served
  • Compassion
  • Honesty resulting in trust by the consumer
  • Dignity and respect for those being served.