CA Department of Developmental Services

There are five components of the Developmental Services System:

Department of Developmental Services

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.

Department of Social Services

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.

Federal Planning & Advocacy System

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.

State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD)

The State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD) works to protect 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.  Learn more about the State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD) at their web site.

State/Local Education Systems

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.