Our History

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PLAN of PA History – Why We Exist

In 1989, a collection of families achieved their goal in creating PLAN of PA, a non-profit 501c3 social services organization to provide Care Management and Trust Administration services. They aligned with a national organization, Planned Lifetime Assistance Network (PLAN), making PLAN of PA one of the 18 PLAN Affiliates in 22 states.

Each of these families had a loved one with a behavioral health or intellectual disability diagnosis. With an entrepreneurial spirit, they gathered in living rooms and around kitchen tables to talk about the things that mattered most. Like all parents, their primary focus was preparing for the wellbeing of their loved ones for the present, as well as after they were gone. But, these parents could not expect that their loved one would ultimately be independent; so, plans for that reality were paramount. In response, they created PLAN of PA, a social services organization with financial acumen, to aid their loved one in living a healthy, happy, meaningful life. The organization would assist by securing  and maintaining public benefits and decent housing; promoting health and wellness; managing personal finances; and combating isolation by fostering good relationships. These families knew their loved ones could become employed, pursue an education, or meaningfully volunteer; but, they needed supports and resources to achieve these goals. PLAN of PA would offer these supports.

In addition, some families had created a Special Needs Trust (SNT) so that their loved one could set aside funds and still maintain public benefits. They wanted PLAN of PA as their Corporate Trustee because all believed a social service agency, with the right financial and legal partners, would serve more effectively than a bank or a trust company. Further, they understood that if a family member was Trustee, family relationships would be dramatically impacted. Establishing PLAN of PA as the Corporate Trustee was the best choice to provide social service expertise; forge partnerships with families and support networks; develop financial acumen; understand trust rules and regulations; and serve as an objective third party to free family relationships of the inherent dynamics of being the financial authority.

In addition to these services, we also offer family consultation for those who simply need pointing in the right direction and intermittent help along the way. We consult in the areas of creating a Special Needs Trust; obtaining public benefits; and finding available resources in our communities. Our team helps families sort through their individual situations, generate ideas, and distill the key points. We leave the family with an action plan to carry out that may include an introduction to trusted financial and legal experts who understand the Special Needs community.

Decades later, the vision and tenacity of our founding families continues to thrive. PLAN of PA delivers real outcomes in the areas of securing housing and public benefits; promoting health and wellness; providing social supports; obtaining work or pursing and education; and managing personal finances.

Today’s PLAN of PA does what PLAN of PA has always done, support people with behavioral health and intellectual disability diagnoses to live happier, healthier and more meaningful lives. We do this through Family Consultation, Care Management and Corporate Trustee Services.

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