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.
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Regional Center services are free of cost. Initial evaluations to determine eligibility can be paid for by the Regional Center or MediCal.Back to Top
No, the Regional Center system does not require a specific income level. Eligibility is determined based on diagnosis and need of each consumer only.Back to Top
Yes, records can be submitted to the Intake Unit for review. At times, outside reports can be used in place of a Regional Center evaluation during the intake process. Reports should be submitted to the Intake Counselor and reviewed by the Interdisciplinary Team prior to waving any Regional Center evaluations .Back to Top
No, a client does not need to be a U.S. citizen to recieve services from WRCBack to Top
If you child is under the age of 18, and you are his/her legal guardian, you may sign the Agreement and Consent Forms. In addition, you may arrange for and accompany your child to meetings with your Regional Center Service Coordinator.
If your child is an adult, and over the age of 18, you may not sign documents for them or arrange meetings with Regional Center personnel without their permission. If you are the conservator for this adult, you may provide Regional Center with documentation verifying your status, and participate in the Regional Center process.Back to Top
Unless otherwise stated at the time your child's eligibility is determined, your child will remain eligible for Regional Center services as long as he/she chooses to accept them. If a consumer decides not to remain active with the Regional Center, his/her case will be inactivated. If, a case becomes inactivated for a number of years, eligibility must be redetermined before the case is reopened.Back to Top
Services for children under Early Start eligibility, birth to three, are different from services provided to Regional Center consumers age three and above. At the age of three, your child becomes eligible for special education services from your local school district. Prior to the age of three, Early Start programs are the primary providers of intervention services for your child.
Eligibility for Regional Center services is determined at age three. Prior to age three, eligibility is determined by Early Start guidelines. All children eligible for Early Start services are only eligible until their third birthday. Prior to turning three years of age, each child will be evaluated and continuing eligibility for Regional Center services will be determined.Back to Top
If you are eligible for Regional Center and you move out of WRC’s catchment area, please inform your Service Coordinator immediately. If you remain living in California, your case will be transferred to 1 of 21 Regional Centers that encompasses your new residence.Back to Top
Regional Center records are only released with permission from the consumer or legal guardian. Our records are confidential.Back to Top
Services provided by the Regional Center are based on the individual needs of the particular consumer. It may be that another child requires a particular service that your child may not require, or it may be that your child is similar to this child and you need to inquire about this service from your Service Coordinator. There are many services in our community and new programs are growing everyday, please continue to inform your Service Coordinator of new services that they may not yet know about. This will help us to increase our knowledge and inform other families of new services as well.Back to Top
Regional Center does not pay for anything deemed as education for your child. Your Service Coordinator will assist you with programming from your local school district at your request, in order to provide an educational program that is appropriate for your child.Back to Top
No, all services funded by the Regional Center must be documented on the Individual Program Plan (IPP). In addition, a consumer is not eligible for funding until the intake process has been completed, and the consumer is found eligible for Regional Center services .
More information on the Intake Process
Intake is the procedure by which data is gathered to determine eligibility for regional center services. This data includes social, medical, and psychological information. Information may come from outside sources or from in-house interviews, examinations and testing. The intake process consists of five steps, which may take up to 120 days.
Referrals for intake can be made by parents, legal guardians or conservators. People can refer themselves to the Regional Center if they are 18 years or older. Professionals and concerned persons may make a referral, however, permission of the individual, parent or legal guardian is necessary.
Legally ordered evaluations may come from the courts or Department of Children and Family Services.
2. Social History
Once the referral is accepted, the applicant will meet with a Westside Regional Center Intake Counselor to begin gathering background information. This information will include health and developmental history as well as information provided by family members. At this time, the intake process will be explained, including services that may be available if the applicant is found eligible.
3. Psychological Assessment
Psychological testing may be completed by Westside Regional Center to determine if the applicant has an eligible diagnosis. Recent evaluations attained in the community may be presented for review, and at times may be used instead of re-evaluation at WRC.
4. Medical Assessment
Recent medical information concerning each applicant is needed. Medical records and physician’s assessments will be requested. These records will be reviewed and possibly used in place of a WRC assessment. The applicant may be evaluated by a Westside Regional Center physician.
5. Eligibility Determination
A multidisciplinary team meets to review all gathered information. This team determines if the applicant meets the criteria for eligibility. If the applicant is found eligible, a meeting is held with all concerned parties to develop a Person Centered Plan. If the applicant is not eligible, appropriate community referrals and recommendations are made and our appeal procedures explained.
No, please contact your Service Coordinator if you are unhappy with your current Individual Service Plan. Your plan can be modified and added to at any time, at your request. This is also applicable if you are unhappy with the provider of the service.Back to Top
If your Service Coordinator is on vacation, or unavailable, feel free to leave a message and your call will be returned as soon as that person is able. If you are calling due to an emergency or your call is not returned, please call the Regional Center and request to speak to the Counselor of the Day. Please make sure to give the receptionist the age of the consumer so that the call can be routed appropriately. Each unit has a Program Manager that you may call as well.Back to Top
No, the Regional Center will make a referral to your local school district and assist you in the process of locating an appropriate program for your child, but we do not provide school programs
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No, the Regional Center provides Service Coordination for consumers. We vendor programs that provide direct services at locations within our community. service that you want to contact the Supervisor on Call. The Supervisor on Call will assist you with your emergency.Back to Top