The State of California has a commitment to provide services and supports
to individuals with developmental disabilities throughout their lifetime.
These services and supports are provided through a combination of federal,
state, county and local government services, private businesses, support
groups and volunteers.
The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) provides leadership and
funding for these services and supports through state-operated developmental
centers and contracts with twenty-one agencies called regional centers.
The regional centers have offices throughout California to provide a local
resource to help find and access the many services available to individuals
with developmental disabilities and their families.
There is no charge for diagnosis and assessment for eligibility. Once
eligibility is determined, most services are free regardless of age or
income. There is a requirement for parents to share the cost of 24-hour
out-of-home placements for children under age 18. This share depends on
the parents' ability to pay. There may also be a co-payment requirement
for other selected services.
Regional centers are required by law to provide services in the most
cost-effective way possible. They must use all other resources, including
generic resources, before using any regional center funds. A generic resource
is a service provided by an agency that has a legal responsibility to
provide services to the general public and receives public funds for providing
those services. Some generic agencies you might be referred to are the
local school district, county social services department, Medi-Cal, Social
Security Administration, Department of Rehabilitation and others. Other
resources may include natural supports. This is help that you may get
from family, friends or others at little or no cost.