RHC has a distinguished history of pioneering services and supports for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families in Hamilton County. A group of parents led the way in 1963 by forming RHC to meet the educational needs of their children. At that time, there were only two options available to those families. One was to send their children to an institution which was located hours away from home in order to receive services. The other option was to continue having their children live at home, but there were no educational services in the community.
At first, the agency’s mission was to meet educational needs of children living with their families. During the 1970’s, as the community movement started in Ohio, RHC piloted community-based residential services amid legal and community struggles. The first group home for children opened in 1973, and more homes were opened in the 70’s and 80’s.
From 1986 to 1993, RHC developed innovative state-of-the-art services in response to individuals’ and families’ needs reflecting the national and state trends to open up and develop improved community supports where people live, play, and go to school. In 1986, CITE (Community Integrated Training and Education) Home-Based Services was piloted with the goal of providing support to family through training and education. In 1987, ERS (Emergency Residential Services) was developed as the first temporary residential program in Hamilton County and Ohio with the goal of providing a home with supports to individuals in need of short-term residential support during difficult situations. And in 1989, Foster Family Services was developed in order to meet the long-term needs of individuals to live in small, supportive family environments.
In 1993, RHC, in partnership with the Hamilton County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, known now as Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services, closed the residential school and transformed the services in order to provide new and improved community supports to individuals and their families. FCS (Family Centered Support) was developed to provide in home and community support in response to families wanting to keep their children living at home but needing help to do so. Also, in 1993, CITE Community-Based Services was developed to provide technical assistance to schools and to other community programs in order to enable students to experience success. CITE Services also began collaborating with employers in 1993, expanding options regarding summer work experiences for high school students. SAIL also expanded in order to provide a desired residential choice to individuals and their families. Supported Living Services grew greatly in the 1990’s.
With Foster Family Services and FCS already in place, at the end of 1994, Supported Living Arrangements began providing another option for individuals. Supported Living Arrangements offers individuals with developmental disabilities the choice of living in a home and community of their choice, with or without a roommate. Supported Living Arrangements also provides as much staff supports as needed and/or desired. At this time, RHC's Supported Living Services provided supports to individuals in their own homes as well as with their families.
By 2000, planned respite services were developed to serve as an occasional or regular out of home assistance to families. RHC has collaborated with individuals and families to provide and expand choices and options, to respond to their assessed needs, and to provide services and supports that enhance their lives. RHC has always looked for a better way to provide services by listening to the people we serve and their families, and through administrative leadership and commitment.