The entity that was to become The Arc of Essex County (The Arc) was formed in September, 1948 when a group of parents, religious leaders and dedicated volunteers established the Newark Area Branch of the New Jersey Parents Group for Childrenwith developmental disabilities. Today, The Arc is a private, non-profit agency serving people with developmental disabilities and their families who live in and around Essex County. Developmental disabilities are defined as autism spectrum disorders, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, epilepsy, and head injuries. Care is extended to all regardless of race, religion, nationality or socioeconomic status. The Arc’s consumers consist of children, men and women, ranging in age from birth through adulthood.

Currently, The Arc operates 44 different quality services within the health/human services and education scope in 35 locations. These services include home assistance, respite care, early intervention, a school, a summer day camp, adult day activities, vocational training, group homes and supervised apartments, adult recreation and information and referral services.

The Arc has a total staff of 530 (335 fulltime, 60 part time, 95 substitutes, and 40 seasonal part time [summer camp]). We are fortunate to have the support of approximately 200 dedicated community volunteers who contribute their time and expertise to many of The Arc’s endeavors; they come from local high schools, colleges, fraternal and civic groups. Our programs are made possible through federal and state funding, civic organizations and private foundations, as well as through event fundraising and individual memberships.

For more information regarding the Arc of Essex County please go to our website at

For information about an Arc in your area log onto the Arc of New Jersey at

Mission Statement
The Arc of Essex County will leave no avenue unexplored in the effort to enable those who have developmental disabilities to realize individual goals and to learn, work, play, and coexist with dignity and full partnership in the community.

We believe that the fabric of our society is enriched by all of us in different ways. Those of us with developmental disabilities are simply different, not lesser, threads in that fabric.

Because we believe this, The Arc provides direct service to those with developmental disabilities and their families and acts as an advocate by advancing their interests.

We are further committed to reducing the incidence of developmental disabilities through education, public information, and in fact, all possible means.