The Department of Developmental Services is responsible for designing and coordinating a wide array of services for California residents with developmental disabilities. Regional centers help plan, access, coordinate, and monitor these services and supports.
A person-centered planning approach is used in making decisions about where a person with developmental disabilities will live and the kinds of services and supports they may need. In person-centered planning, everyone who uses regional center services has a planning team that includes the person utilizing the services, family members, regional center staff, and anyone else who is asked to be there by the individual. The team joins together to make sure that the services people are receiving are supporting their choices regarding where they want to live, how and with whom they choose to spend the day, and hopes and dreams for the future.
Regional centers provide diagnosis and assessment of eligibility and help plan, access, coordinate, and monitor the services and supports that are needed because of a developmental disability. There is no charge for the diagnosis and eligibility assessment.
Once eligibility is determined, a case manager or service coordinator is assigned to help develop a plan for services, provide information where services are available, and assist in receiving the services. Most services and supports are free regardless of age or income.
There is a requirement for the parent to share the cost of 24-hour out-of-home placements for children under the age of 18. This share depends on the parents’ ability to pay. For further information see the Parental Fee Program at www.dds.ca.gov. There may also be a co-payment requirement for other selected services. For further information see the Family Cost Participation Program at www.dds.ca.gov.
Some of the services and supports provided by the regional centers include:
- Assessment, diagnosis, and referrals
- Lifelong individualized planning and case management
- Assistance in finding and accessing community and other resources
- Payment for services included in the IPP/IFSP for which other funds are not available
- Advocacy for the protection of legal, civil, and service rights
- Early intervention services (Early Start) for at-risk infants and their families
- Vocational services
- Supports to help ensure individuals can remain within their family
- Planning, placement, and monitoring for 24-hour out-of-home care
- Training and educational opportunities for individuals and families
- Community education about developmental disabilities
- Development of new services to better meet individual needs