Complaints and Concerns
At TCRC, we are committed to building strong relationships with the people and families we support. Our goal is to be responsive and to clearly communicate options, as well as to work together in the planning process. A number of formal processes have been established for regional centers to respond to concerns or complaints related to services that are provided by TCRC or our service providers.
Early Start Complaints and Concerns
Early Start services are for children aged 0-3 who are at risk of having a developmental disability or have a developmental disability or delay, and their families. There are three separate processes in place for addressing disagreements under Early Start.
- Early Start State Complaint Process is available to investigate and resolve any alleged violations of federal or state laws or regulations. Complaints for children in the Early Start program, ages birth to 36 months, are submitted directly to the Department of Developmental Services (DDS).
- Early Start Mediation Conference and Process Hearing are available to resolve disagreements between families and a regional center and/or LEA related to a proposal or refusal for identification, evaluation, assessment, placement, or services.
LANTERMAN ACT COMPLAINTS AND CONCERNS
TCRC provides services to children and adults over the age of three as guided by the Lanterman Act. There are two separate processes in place for addressing disagreements under the Lanterman Act.
Rights Violation Complaints
The Section 4731 Complaint Process can be used when an individual or representative acting on their behalf, believes that any right has been wrongly or unfairly denied by a regional center, developmental center, or a service provider. This process is not to be used to resolve disputes about eligibility, or the nature, scope, or amount of services. The intent of the Rights Violation Complaint Process is to provide a meaningful resolution when a rights violation has been substantiated, and attempt to prevent similar violations from occurring again.
The complaint should be submitted to TCRC’s Executive Director who will investigate it and send you a proposed resolution within 20 working days. Please note, that there can be no extension of the 20-working day timeline, even with the consent from the person who has made the complaint. The proposed resolution will be provided in the individual’s preferred language and will be sent via certified mail and when applicable, email.
If you are not in agreement with TCRC regarding a decision we have made about eligibility for regional center services; or, the nature, scope or amount of services and supports, there is process to appeal. It is the fair hearing process that is available to help to resolve disagreements between the regional center or state developmental center and consumers or applicants who are age three or older. This process is not to be used to resolve issues involving a denial of consumer rights.
DDS has put together a packet of information to help people going through the appeals process. It is called the Lanterman Act Appeals Information Packet.
- * View the Appeals Information Packet in English (PDF).
- * View the Appeals Information Packet in Spanish (PDF).
- * DDS has also provided the Appeals Information Packet as a web site.
Learn specifically about the fair hearing process on the Department of Developmental Services website.
If you have concerns or believe an action of the regional center or service provider to be improper, learn more about TCADD ’s Whistleblower policy here.
The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) also has a process for handling whistleblower complaints regarding alleged improper activity by regional centers or vendors/contractors. You may refer to the DDS webpage for more information.
DDS Office of the Ombudsperson
The Department of Developmental Services established an Office of the Ombudsperson to assist individuals and/or their families who are applying for or receiving regional center services regarding the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act. Beginning December 1, 2022, this new Office will be available to provide information, facilitate resolutions to disagreements and complaints, make recommendations to the Department, and compile and report data.
Toll-free telephone number: 1 (877) 658-9731. Calls will be answered on workdays by an Ombudsperson staff member during the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Outside of these hours, the caller will be able to connect to the Office’s voicemail via automated options.
Ombudsperson staff will return the call by close of business the next workday.