Claudia Bolton

Executive Director and Founder

Incorporated NorthStar Services 1/1/1999.

Claudia Bolton

Why I Do What I Do

All of my life’s work since college in the ‘70s has been around supporting people with developmental disabilities to have good lives as active and valued community members.  I developed the Sacramento area’s first Independent Living Program in 1977.  In the ‘80’s, as an alternative to the “developmental model” and “continuum” of services the need for a new model of service was identified by myself and others working in the field.  I had the opportunity to consult with the State Department of Developmental Services as well as several regional centers and provider agencies as the new service called Supported Living was developed.  I am one of the founders of CIRCL, Connections for Information and Resources on Community Living, a consulting and training group that, with funding from DDS, provided statewide training and developed best practice materials on Supported Living.  I have been fortunate to have generous and inspiring mentors in Arthur Bolton (my father and author of the Lanterman Act), Michael Smull, John O’Brien, Bill Allen and John Shea.  Although most of what I have learned has been from the individuals, families and staff I have worked with.  My thinking and work in person centered values, principles and practices continue to evolve as I listen to all of my teachers.  My dream in starting NorthStar was to develop an organization that valued the diversity, gifts, strengths and what was important to each individual balanced with providing support and training in areas of need or challenge.   Within NorthStar we not only apply these principles to the services we provide but we apply this thinking to how we value and support families and our staff. 

Some of My Gifts and Capacities

  • Mentor for The Learning Community for Person Centered Practices
  • Trainer in Person Centered Thinking and Tools for Person Centered Work
  • Trainer in Community Building
  • Organizational Development
  • Occasional Consultant with Helen Sanderson Associates, Support Development Associates (Michael Smull and Mary Lou Bourne), and Allen Shea and Associates
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