Camino Real Community Services is a non-profit organization providing mental, behavioral and intellectual disability services to Atascosa, Dimmit, Frio, Karnes, La Salle, Maverick, McMullen, Wilson and Zavala counties. Camino Real is the designated Community Mental Health Authority and the Authority for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. As the authority, it has the responsibility for eligibility determination, coordinating care, and managing a network of providers of direct services.
Camino Real Community Services is also a provider of services and supports to persons with mental illness, intellectual disabilities, and developmental delays who meet eligibility criteria.
Camino Real Community Services is responsible for Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) services for children ages birth to 3 with developmental disabilities in the following counties: Atascosa, Bee, Dimmit, Frio, Guadalupe, Gonzalez, La Salle, Live Oak, McMullen, Maverick, Wilson, and Zavala Counties.
Camino Real Community MHMR Center was officially created September 1, 2000 as a non-profit local community mental health to join the Texas Community MHMR Center system established by Health and Safety Code Chapter 534. Camino Real proudly joined the Community MHMR Center system that coordinates the delivery of services in all 254 counties across the State of Texas.
Camino Real's service area stretches across 10,000 square miles of a primarily rural and frontier area of the state. The ECI grant expands this service area to include Guadalupe, Gonzales, Bee and Live Oak counties, adding 3,735 square miles for a total of 13,735 square miles that make up the service delivery area. To represent the needs of local communities the Camino Real Board of Trustees oversees the functions of the Center. These trustees are appointed by the local county commissioner's courts of Atascosa, Dimmit, Frio, Karnes, La Salle, Maverick, McMullen, Wilson and Zavala Counties.
In September of 2000, the Board of Trustees hired Emma C. Garcia as Camino Real's first Executive Director under its new Community Center Structure. Her long standing tenure with the agency prepared her well for the responsibilities associated with the office of Executive Director. Supported by a strong and tenured management team, she continues to provide leadership to the Center to date.
Prior to Camino Real becoming a Community MHMR Center, the State Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation (TDMHMR) was responsible for governing the delivery of services in areas determined by the state, which did not have an existing Community MHMR Center. Initially services were delivered by the Community Services Divisions affiliated with the State Hospital and State School systems. In 1996, these Community Services Divisions were converted to State Operated Community Services in preparation for conversion to a Community MHMR Center, with the goal of having one service delivery system across the state.
Shifting from provision of services as a state agency to provision of services under the control of local government has enhanced the development of services responsive to local need. Local communities now participate and provide guidance to the service delivery systems in their community. In addition, local governments participate with the funding of Camino Real by providing a “match” contribution to support the general revenue authorized by the State Legislature and allocated by the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) and the Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
In January of 2011, the Board of Directors approved CAMINO REAL COMMUNITY SERVICES as the new name for the Center. The change came about as a result of a thoughtful process that culminated in the recognition that a name change was in order as a response to the national and statewide movement to remove the term “retardation” in health, education, and labor statutes. President Obama signed Rosa's Law (S 2781) on October 5, 2010; this law replaces the term “mental retardation” with "intellectual disabilities". Inspired by persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families who expressed a desire for this change and their effort in moving the nation towards the use of respectful language, Camino Real proudly responded by removing MHMR from its name.
Abriendo Puertas; Opening Doors through Choice, Dignity and Respect.
In partnership with consumers and community stakeholders, Camino Real provides services and supports that make it possible for persons to live, work and play in their communities and become contributing members of society to their maximum extent possible.
© 2011 Camino Real Community Services