Regional centers are nonprofit private corporations that contract with the Department of Developmental Services to provide or coordinate services and supports for individuals with developmental disabilities. They have offices throughout California to provide a local resource to help find and access the many services available to individuals and their families.
Infants and toddlers (age 0 to 36 months) who are at risk of having developmental disabilities or who have a developmental delay may also qualify for services. The criteria for determining the eligibility of infants and toddlers is specified in Section 95014 of the California Government Code. In addition, individuals at risk of having a child with a developmental disability may be eligible for genetic diagnosis, counseling and other prevention services. For information about these services, see Early Start.
Once eligibility is determined, a case manager or service coordinator is assigned to help develop a plan for services, tell you where services are available, and help you get the services. Most services and supports 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. For further information, see Parental Fee Program. There may also be a co-payment requirement for other selected services. For further information, see Family Cost Participation Program.
Some of the services and supports provided by the regional centers include:
- Information and referral
- Assessment and diagnosis
- Lifelong individualized planning and service coordination
- Purchase of necessary services included in the individual program plan
- Resource development
- Assistance in finding and using community and other resources
- Advocacy for the protection of legal, civil and service rights
- Early intervention services for at risk infants and their families
- Genetic counseling
- Family support
- Planning, placement, and monitoring for 24-hour out-of-home care
- Training and educational opportunities for individuals and families
- Community education about developmental disabilities
Last modified: March 22, 2021