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Quality Assessment and the National Core Indicators Survey (NCI)

Meeting with a consumer
Watch this video to learn more about the NCI interview

The National Core Indicators (NCI) Survey is used by the California Department of Developmental Disabilities to assess performance in services and supports provided to people with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD). The NCI survey has been used in California since 2010 as a requirement by the Welfare and Institutions Code, Section 4571 to implement a nation-wide quality assessment survey.

The survey was developed by the Human Services Research Institute and the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS) and is used in 48 states and Washington, D.C. In California, the NCI Survey is conducted by the State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD).

The survey asks questions about these areas of an individual's life:

  • Residence
  • Employment
  • Relationships
  • Involvement in the community
  • Information and Planning
  • Health and Welfare
  • Safety
  • Respect and Rights
  • Access to services and supports
  • Satisfaction of services
  • Choices, decision making and control

Information for Self-Advocates

The National Core Indicators (NCI) is a way the state and regional centers learn about the California service system. The State Council on Developmental Disabilities may ask to interview you for NCI. The interview is voluntary, that means you can choose to be interviewed or not. If you do answer the NCI questions, your information will be confidential and will not affect your services. During the interview they will ask you questions about your life, the services you receive and your community. You may bring a support staff, family member or friend to help you.

Your answers will help the state know how California is doing compared to other states. It will also help the regional centers see what they are doing well and what they can improve. The law requires California to interview people receiving services. Each year, 400 people from each regional center are interviewed. Each person is asked the same questions.

You can find user-friendly results from the surveys below. You can find the results for California or your regional center in the link below. The manual "10 Easy Steps to using the NCI" can show you how to use the NCI reports to make changes where you live.

If you have questions about the project, you may email ncihelp@dds.ca.gov.

Resources

Learn More About NCI

Information about the NCI Surveys

THERE ARE FOUR TYPES OF NCI SURVEYS used in California. The first year of implementation (2010/2011) each type of surveys was implemented. The surveys were then distributed every three years. The table below shows the current implementation schedule.

Adult In-Person Survey (formally known as the Adult Consumer Survey) The Adult In-Person Survey is conducted face to face with an individual who is 18 years or older and receiving services, in addition to case management, from the regional center. There is more information below on the different parts of this survey type. Our goal is to interview 400 people being served by each of the 21 regional centers.

THE ADULT IN-PERSON SURVEY has three distinct parts

  • Background, demographic and diagnosis information is collected from state records, interviews with direct staff, families and individuals or from individual's files. This information is carefully reviewed by the interviewer for accuracy.
  • The Section I of the survey refers to questions that may only be answered by the person receiving services and supports. These are subjective, satisfaction-related questions that may not be answered by anyone else.
  • The Section II of the survey may be answered by the individual or someone who knows the person well (proxy respondent)-such as a family member, friend, staff person, guardian, or advocate. Service coordinators or case managers are not allowed to respond to questions in this section.

Child Family Survey

The Child Family Survey is a survey that is mailed to families with children ages 3-18 years old living with them who receive at least one service from a regional center, in addition to case management. The survey is mailed to all available and valid family addresses who meet the criteria, participation is voluntary and confidential. The survey asks families about information and planning; access and community connection; choice and control; and family involvement.

Adult Family Survey

The Adult Family Survey is mailed to all available families whose loved one (age 18 and over) is living with them and receives at least one service from a regional center, in addition to case management. Participation is voluntary and information is confidential.

Family Guardian Survey

The Family Guardian Survey is mailed to families and conservators of individuals who are age 18 and over and live in a community placement setting, and receives at least one service from a regional center, in addition to case management. Participation is voluntary and information is confidential.

Survey Schedule

NCI Survey Schedule
Fiscal Year Type of NCI Survey
2010/2011 Adult In-Person Survey
Child Family Survey
Adult Family / Family Guardian Survey
2011/2012 Adult In-Person Survey
2012/2013 Child Family Survey
2013/2014 Adult Family / Family Guardian Survey
2014/2015 Adult In-Person Survey
2015/2016 Child Family Survey
2016/2017 Adult Family / Family Guardian Survey
2017/2018 Adult In-Person Survey
2018/2019 Child Family Survey

Fiscal Year 2017/2018 Survey Status

The State Council on Developmental Disabilities is contacting individuals (age 18 or older) to participate in the NCI Adult In-Person Survey until August 1st, 2018.

The 2017-2018 NCI Survey will interview individuals who meet the following criteria:

  1. Age 18 and older,
  2. live in a community residence or with their families, and
  3. who receive at least one service in addition to case management.

Each regional center will have 400 names of individuals that are selected random and asked to participate. Participation is voluntary and appreciated. To learn more about how NCI results are used for quality improvement initiatives, follow the link below.

To learn more:

NCI Survey Results

NCI for Individuals Transitioning to the Community

California uses NCI to assess individuals who transition from a Developmental Center to the community. In fiscal year 2009/2010, NCI began an annual interview of individuals who moved from Lanterman Developmental Center and a cohort of individuals who had moved from any Developmental Center in the past five years. The individuals who moved from Lanterman Developmental Center will be interviewed until fiscal year 2018/2019. The individuals who moved from any Developmental Center in the past five years has been absorbed by the Mover Longitudinal Study (information in the link below).

Results from the surveys of individuals who moved from Lanterman Developmental Center and from any California Developmental Center can be found in the NCI Survey Results tab in the "Developmental Center Mover Reports" link. You can learn more about the MLS here.

Project Contact Information

For questions about the National Core Indicators, contact:

 
 
Last Updated: 4/10/2018