There are five components of the Developmental Services System:
The California Department of Developmental Services is the agency through which the State of California provides services and supports to individuals with developmental disabilities.
These disabilities include mental retardation, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism and related conditions. Services are provided through state-operated developmental centers and community facilities, and contracts with 21 nonprofit regional centers. The regional centers serve as a local resource to help find and access the services and supports available to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.
Several programs in the Department of Social Services are important to persons with developmental disabilities. In- Home Support Services (IHSS), administered through the counties, provides homemaker and personal care services for people who cannot remain safely in their homes without assistance. Community Care Licensing Division offices, throughout the state, license and monitor group.
Several California advocacy agencies are largely funded by Federal dollars. An independent State Council on Developmental Services comprises 19 members appointed by the Governor to coordinate services for persons with developmental disabilities. The Council develops a State Plan, reviews and comments on proposed state agency budget and regulations, monitors the effectiveness of appeals, and testifies before the Legislature on fiscal and policy matters. The Council also funds thirteen local state agencies called Area Boards including local Area Board IX.
Each Area Board includes members appointed by the Governor and local Boards of Supervisiors. Responsibilities involve protecting the civil and service rights of citizens with developmental disabilities, providing public information and education, and monitoring the policies and practices of publicly funded agencies.
California voters elect the Superintendent of Public Instruction who administers the State Department of Education. The Department of Education oversees special education programs in California's public education system for the education of students from pre-school to adulthood. The intent of the law is met through a network of districts, Special Education Local Planning Areas and other agencies. SELPAs determine their own structures locally through county agencies and organizations to provide programs to students. Local school districts provide classes and training to children with disabilities.
Click here for a One Page Profile of the regional center system.