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Cares Landscape

UNC Cares was established in 1987 by Gary M. Nelson, DSW as the Center for Aging and Adult Research and Educational Services at the UNC School of Social Work to improve the lives of aging adults and adults with support needs in North Carolina.

Today, UNC Cares provides education, community engagement and policy analysis across the state in order to empower older adults, adults with disabilities and their families, to experience choice and dignity in their lives.

As an organization and individually, we believe that to the greatest extent possible people have the right to govern their own lives and make choices about how to live, and to have those choices honored whether or not they can communicate them in conventional ways.

We do this by involving individuals with lived experience and their families in partnership with other stakeholders. Together, we utilize Collective Impact as a framework for long term, positive social change.

Collective Impact is…”the commitment of a group of cross-sector actors to a common agenda for solving a complex social problem”

(John Kania and Mark Kramer, “Collective Impact,” Stanford Social Innovation Review, Winter 2011).