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60 Years of Possibilities: The Innovative Services NW Impact

Reflecting on our community impact and looking forward to a bright and innovative future.

Our Journey:
A 60-Year Timeline


Innovative Services NW (originally known as Clark Care and Development Center) was established in 1963 by a group of parents with a vision to provide an activity program for children and adults with disabilities. The program started by serving just 15 individuals per month.

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In the 1970s, ISNW evolved to serve a wider range of individuals, from infants to adults, at two locations. A Pediatric Therapy program was initiated, providing physical, occupational, speech, and education therapies. For adults, academic, vocational training, and other skills were introduced to the program. By 1978, the programs were renamed Vancouver Children’s Therapy and Encore Industries.


ISNW continued to evolve, partnering with school districts in the local area to provide Early Intervention services. Encore Industries expanded to operate an auto-detail shop, shrink-wrap services, and several assembly production projects. The decade ended with a transition from a sheltered workshop to individual and group supported employment opportunities for adults with disabilities.

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The 90s saw further growth and the establishment of the Childcare program in response to the needs of parents with special needs children and the adults services program founded a new name, Encore Group NW.


Celebrating 40 years of services, Clark County and Development became Innovative Services NW, stepping into a new millennium with a renewed identity. The Family Services and Transitions Foster Care programs were established to further support the needs of the community. After a successful capital campaign, ISNW constructed the Mary Firstenburg Center in 2008, a facility capable of offering a continuum of services from birth to end of life under one roof.


Under the new leadership of Dena Strong, ISNW embarked on a period of consolidation and strategic growth. Innovative’s focus was set towards enhancing the stability and quality of existing programs that support children, adults, and their families, ensuring a robust and sustainable impact on the community.


In 2023, ISNW is celebrating its 60-year anniversary, marking meaningful expansions in Early Learning services, including the opening of two new Early Learning classrooms and a partnership with Washington State University - Vancouver to reopen and operate the WSU-V Childcare Center. 

Stories that Resonate Through Time

Personal stories about Innovative's impact from our Board of Directors


Meet Blossom! Our Symbol of Unforgettable Impact

We wanted to introduce you to our new friend, Blossom. Blossom will act as a charming reminder of our unforgettable impact over the past six decades. Elephants are known for their tremendous memory, and Blossom never forgets the importance of making a difference in the lives of those we serve. 


A huge thank you to the group of early learners who helped give Blossom her new name. They are as excited as we are to share how you can bring your very own Blossom home, stay tuned for more information coming soon! 


Thank you for being a supporter of Innovative Services NW.

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