The mission of Porterville Developmental Center (PDC) is to provide person-centered support and treatment programs to the individuals served, embracing change and opportunities while continuing partnerships with stakeholders. The Interdisciplinary Team, which includes the consumer, the family or legal representative, and PDC staff such as physicians, psychologists, nurses, psychiatric technicians, social workers, chaplains, rehabilitation and speech therapists, teachers, dietitians and pharmacists, all work toward this mission. The team develops an Individual Program Plan using a person-centered planning process. Services may include health care, education, work training, employment, self-help training, and preparation for independent living, as well as leisure activities, behavior management and socialization skills development.
Porterville Developmental Center (PDC), located on approximately 670 acres in Porterville California, opened in 1953 and currently serves people with developmental and intellectual disabilities in a general treatment area and separate secure treatment program.
PDC is one of four State-operated facilities within the California Department of Developmental Services serving people with developmental disabilities. PDC provides 24-hour residential services for individuals 18 years or older who have serious medical and/or behavior problems for which appropriate services are not currently available through community resources. PDC is licensed by the California Department of Public Health to provide general acute medical services, skilled nursing services, and intermediate care services.
The majority of individuals served at PDC have an intellectual disability and many have severe chronic medical or behavioral problems. Others require services within a secure treatment program. These individuals are in the mild to moderate range of intellectual disability, have come in contact with the legal system, have been determined to be a danger to themselves or others and/or incompetent to stand trial, and have been determined by the court to meet the criteria requiring treatment in a secure area.
Public Information & Tour Arrangements
In order to preserve the privacy and dignity of individuals living at the DC, general tours for individuals and the public are not available. Educational tours are available at the discretion of the Executive Director. For public information, or to schedule a tour, please contact the Assistant to the Executive Director at 559-782-2286. Members of the media who would like a tour should complete and submit the Media Access Request and Agreement Form. PDF
Infection Control Officer: In accordance with requirements of California Health a Safety Code (HSC) Section 1797.188(d), the Infection Control Officer for Porterville Development Center can be reached at 559-782-2085. For after hours, contact the Assistant Coordinator of Nursi Services at 559-782-2356.
Porterville Developmental Center (PDC) is located on about 670 acres in the foothills of the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains in Porterville, California, an agricultural city in Tulare County. In 1945, the State purchased 1,245 acres of land for $62,850 for the future Porterville State Hospital. The site was originally planned for the care and treatment of individuals with epilepsy, but was redesigned as a treatment center for the intellectually disabled. Construction began in 1950 and on May 12, 1953, then Governor Earl Warren dedicated the Porterville State Hospital. PDC admitted its first 200 consumers on June 3, 1953. The total population reached its peak in 1957 with over 2,600 consumers.In 1985, the facility was renamed PDC by the Department of Developmental Services to better reflect the purpose of the facility to care for individuals with developmental disabilities. The Secure Treatment Program was developed in 1997, upon the closure of Camarillo State Hospital and Developmental Center. At that time, 200 consumers were transferred to PDC‘s Secure Treatment Program.
PDC‘s sprawling campus is like a city unto itself. In addition to home residences and training/work sites, the campus includes an auditorium, two gymnasiums and swimming pool complexes, athletic field, religious center, education complex, two cafes, crafts store, fashion center, police station, fire station, hospital, maintenance shops, and has its own water supply and power plant.
In November, 2006, construction began for a 96-bed residential expansion in the Secure Treatment Program. The expansion included six 16-bed living residences, a recreation complex and a new reception building. Construction was completed in October, 2009.
- Central Program Services: Day Treatment Services Central Program Services provides training to meet the individual’s identified needs. Services are provided through a variety of programs designed to increase their level of independence, functioning skills, ability to control their environment, and ability to live in community settings. Services provided include Education Services, Adult Habilitation Services, Employment Services, Court Competency Training, MOVE Program, Speech-Language Pathology Services, Audiology Services, Curriculum Services, Sign Language Interpreter Services, Assistive Technology, Leisure Services, Religious Services, Volunteer Services, two Resource Centers, two snack shops and the Foster Grandparent/Senior Companion program.
Language Assistance Services
Porterville maintains language assistance policies in both English and Spanish and provides language assistance services for residents and families in accordance with Section 1259 of the California Health and Safety Code (Assembly Bill 389, Chapter 327, Statutes of 2015). To find out more about language services that are available, please click on one of the following links:
- Complete Standard APPIC Application for the California Psychology Internship Consortium.
- 800 hours of practicum experience, 100 hours assessment experience and acquired practicum experience at two independent sites.
For more information, contact the Psychology Intern Training Director at:
P.O. Box 2000,
Porterville, California 93258-2000
See APPIC Directory for more information.
- Referral from participating University
- Resume or curriculum vitae
- 40 hour training provided on site
For more information contact the Social Work Internship Coordinator at 559-782-4046
Location & Directions
Porterville Developmental Center
26501 Avenue 140
Porterville, California 93257-2000
- Take Highway 65 Northeast to Porterville
- Exit Highway 190 East
- Travel approximately four miles and take Road 265 (Blue Heron Parkway) exit into facility grounds
- Travel South on Highway 99 to Tipton
- Take Highway 190 exit East
- Travel for approximately 18 miles and take the Road 265 (Blue Heron Parkway) exit into facility grounds
News & Updates
- April 1, 2016 – Plan For the Closure of Fairview Developmental Center and Porterville Developmental Center General Treatment Area(106 Pages) PDF
- Porterville Settlement Agreement (12 Pages) PDF
- January 30, 2016 Public Hearing (2 Pages) PDF
- Transcript of Public Hearing Testimony -January 30, 2016 (90 Pages) PDF
- January 15, 2014 Program Involvement Plan (8 Pages) PDF
- Technical Addendum (16 Pages) PDF
- January 11, 2017 Invitation to 2/12/17 Family & Conservator Information Session and Community Opportunity Fair (2 Pages) PDF
- AT&T Conference Transcript of 2/12 Family & Conservator Information Session (38 Pages) PDF
- Department of Developmental Services Regional Center Map (1 Page) PDF
- Developmental Center Closure Transition Definitions (1 Pages) PDF
- Who Are the Regional Projects, or RRDPs? (1 Page) PDF
- July 29, 2016 Invitation to 8/21/16 Family & Conservator Information Session (1 Page) PDF
- PowerPoint Presentation from 8/21 Family & Conservator Information Session: “Community Living Options”(11 Pages) PDF
- Descriptions of Community Living Options (5 Pages) PDF
- Summary of Settlement Agreement with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (1 Page) PDF
- AT&T Conference Transcript of 8/21 Family & Conservator Information Session (70 Pages) PDF
- May 20, 2016 Invitation to 6/21/16 Family & Conservator Information Session(1 Page) PDF
21, 2016 Invitation to 4/24/16 Family & Conservator Information Session (1 Page) PDF
10, 2016 Invitation to 2/27/16 Family & Conservator Information Session (1 Page) PDF
- November 30, 2015 Letter to Interested Parties RE: DDS’ Intent to Submit a Closure Plan for FDC and PDC GTA by April 1, 2016 (2 Pages) PDF
- A six-slide presentation for consumers to inform the closure plan for Fairview Developmental Center and the General Treatment Area of Porterville Developmental Center is available here. (6 Pages) PDF
Last modified: February 9, 2021