ARCA Accomplishments 2014-15
ARCA charts its progress based on the Strategic Plan.
Last year saw a number of advances for ARCA and the Regional Center system.
- Seek Elimination of the Annual Family Program Fee (AFPF)
- Solicited stories from regional centers of individuals adversely impacted by the AFPF.
- Developed a briefing sheet for legislators outlining the failures of the AFPF program and its disproportionate impact on families of children in the Early Start program.
- Met with key legislators concerning the need to eliminate the AFPF.
- Increase community capacity through strategic resources development
- Obtained approval for a Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) grant through DDS to address the needs of individuals with forensic involvement in community and institutional settings.
- Hosted the Statewide Forensic Forum on June 8-9 for representatives from all 21 regional centers and community partners to collaboratively explore challenges, barriers, movement toward solutions, and collection of existing best practices in jointly serving individuals with forensic involvement.
- Participated in workgroups focused on the development of regulations and sustainable rate structures for Community Crisis Homes and Enhanced Behavioral Supports Homes.
- Participated in the DDS HCBS Advisory Group and service setting work groups with to help California achieve compliance with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) HCBS Final Rule related to community integration and personal choice while ensuring that individuals, families, providers, and regional centers have the necessary time and support to achieve this by 2019.
- Self-Determination Program (SDP)
- Participated in the Self-Determination Conference in November 2014 and the SDP Independent Facilitator Training in May 2015 in order to learn the issues that stakeholders are most interested in.
- Participating in the DDS SDP Training, Outreach, FMS, and Background Check Work Groups to ensure that processes balance choice with individual protection.
- Worked with DDS and the Advisory Group to ensure that selection of individuals for the first 2,500 SDP slots is fair and equitable among individuals who have expressed interest in participation.
- Increase integrated housing options.
- Participated in the Non-Profit Organization (NPO) Statewide Housing, now known as the “Lanterman Housing Alliance”, meetings to discuss ways in which the group could develop tools to educate families and individuals on housing options and to build a permanent stock of housing.
- Completed two Project Rental Assistance (PRA) outreach meetings with regional centers and developers to foster collaboration in development of specific housing options for regional center clients, which led to a commitment to develop more than 100 housing units for individuals.
- Increase integrated employment opportunities.
- Devoted a portion of ARCA’s On the Brink of Collapse report to the challenges encountered by supported employment providers and new expectations for employment of individuals with developmental disabilities.
- Provided information to regional centers’ Employment Specialists and other groups regarding the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA).
- Supported SB 644, which would enable individuals with disabilities to get jobs with the state following paid internships rather than through a traditional application process.
- Regional centers’ responses to the needs of individuals and families from culturally, ethnically, diverse communities
- Convened an Equity Committee to examine best and promising practices for serving individuals and families from a variety of communities.
- Partnered with Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles to begin the process of conducting an equity study to determine the reasons for variances in service utilization and steps that can be taken to correct any barriers to access that are identified.
- Medi-Cal Coverage of Services to Children with Autism
- Established a relationship with Local Health Plans of California to discuss challenges and opportunities related to the implementation of a Medi-Cal behavioral health treatment benefit.
- Provided comments to DHCS on the draft State Plan Amendment application to express concerns regarding limitations to the services that would be provided and the eligibility criteria for receiving them.
- Provided comments to DHCS on the draft Transition Plan and beneficiary notification letter.
- Funding – POS and OPS
- Met with the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO), Department of Finance, and Legislative staff about the Operations (OPS) and Purchase of Service (POS) reports and the impact of underfunding the system in both areas.
- Authored and disseminated a report titled On the Brink of Collapse to highlight the community impact of long-term underfunding of California’s developmental services system.
- Met with key legislators and legislative staff prior to the May Revise to inform them of the Lanterman Coalition position.
- Presented on panels in both the Assembly and Senate Budget committees during budget hearings, at their request.
- Partnered with the Lanterman Coalition to advocate for an across-the-board 10% increase in rates and regional center operations, a timeframe for funding reform, and 5% annual increases until reforms are implemented.
- In conjunction with the Lanterman Coalition and regional centers’ Local Advocacy Coordinators, met with legislators and their staff leading 67 legislators to sign Senator Beall’s letter to the Governor supporting the Lanterman Coalition Budget position.
- Established a network of RC local coordinators and supported their efforts to conduct local grassroots advocacy on budget issues.
- Along with other Lanterman Coalition members hosted a rally at the Capitol with over 400 people in attendance.
- Began a Twitter campaign to encourage legislators to support the Lanterman Coalition’s Budget position.
- Provided testimony to the CHHSA Developmental Services Task Force on the need for a plan and deadline to reform rates for POS and OPS.
- Consulted with the author’s office and sponsors and supporting SB 490, which would provide relief to small vendors from fiscal audit requirements.
- Worked with the Lanterman Coalition to generate press coverage of the joint Budget proposal throughout the state.