Mission: The Irene Wortham Center provides comprehensive, quality residential and day services for children and adults with developmental disabilities and/or socioeconomic challenges.

For 55 years and counting, Irene Wortham Center has helped children and adults with developmental and/or socioeconomic challenges lead healthy, happy and more independent lives. From our CARF-accredited Adult Day Activity and Supported Employment programs, to our 5-star-rated child care center, to our comprehensive, around-the-clock residential care homes, Irene Wortham Center and its exceptional staff inspire and empower individuals to reach their full potential from birth to end of life.

Irene Wortham Center not only provides exceptional care to our clients, but also we give family members the valuable peace of mind knowing their loved ones are our family too.

Named after visionary Irene McLeod Wortham, the first special education teacher in Western North Carolina, Irene Wortham Center continues to champion her belief in the value and promise of every person. By partnering with the Western North Carolina community, Irene Wortham Center will continue to be a leading voice for those with developmental challenges.

Guiding Principles:

  • Be a leading voice for those with developmental challenges.
  • Provide life-spanning programs and comprehensive services for consumers to achieve developmental milestones and lead happy, healthy and more independent lives.
  • Provide inspiration and encouragement for personal achievement and growth for consumers, families, volunteers and staff.
  • Provide choice and empower decision-making for consumers and their families.
  • Advocate for the rights and needs of people with developmental challenges.
  • Enrich the lives of people who are developmentally challenged and people who are developing typically by providing an engaging environment where everyone can learn, live and work together.
  • Engage the larger community in the lives of Irene Wortham Center consumers and their families.
  • Provide responsible stewardship of Irene Wortham Center resources.
  • Practice excellent leadership in the field of developmental challenges.


Show courteous regard and consideration for each individual and the organization.
Be kind, patient, gentle, thoughtful and understanding.
Provide excellence in service.
Be trained, qualified, and proficient to do the job.
Honor each person’s unique qualities.
Be welcoming and responsive to families and caregivers.
Be honest, truthful, ethical and principled.

Non Discrimination Policy

This institution does not discriminate against consumers, applicants or vendors based on sex, race, color, religion, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, marital status, family responsibilities, sexual orientation, prior civil rights activity, or any other characteristic protected by law. Click here for complete policy: Non Discrimination Policy Rev 2017