Article

ACRC Completes Sonoma Developmental Center Closure Activities

In May 2015, Sonoma Developmental Center’s closure was announced.   An ambitious date of December 2018 was set for the closure and to successfully move 400 residents from the developmental center to the community.   Prior to the closure announcement, ACRC moved out approximately six clients a year from Sonoma Developmental Center (SDC) through the Community Placement Plan (CPP).   With the closure announcement being made, ACRC needed to move 54 individuals in a three and a half year period.  ACRC completed these placements into the community six months prior to the announced closure date.

Upon evaluating the placement desires of the client, families, and conservators, ACRC identified six Alta clients to transfer to other nearby regional centers where their primary family members resided.   Due to the movement of families over the years, 16 clients from six different regional centers were transferred to ACRC for placement into one of our newly developed homes.  

The population being aged and having a multitude of complex medical needs, it was our charge to create individual specific living situations to meet these client’s needs. Unfortunately, there were some individuals that were not able to be placed due to passing away at the developmental center prior to movement into the community.   All told, ACRC placed 59 individuals during the closure of SDC.  ACRC had excellent success in providing group informational meetings to the family members of Sonoma residents.  An integral piece of the success was the development of new resources.   ACRC developed one new medical day program and 14 new homes to serve SDC clients including three new service models: Community Crisis Home (CCH), Enhanced Behavior Support Home (EBSH) and Adult Residential Facility for People with Special Healthcare Needs (ARFPSHN).   

CPP staff are now focusing on making sure the former SDC clients have the highest quality of life and have every opportunity they desire in their new homes and community.   For the individuals that have moved out of SDC, there is a rigorous quality assurance plan that was developed by the regional centers and the Department of Developmental Services.  ACRC clinical staff, community services specialists and service coordinators are required to have face to face contact very frequently with clients to assess their needs are being met as outlined in their IPP’s and that their overall quality of life is high.

The placement of this number of clients in such a short time was facilitated by the hard work of ACRC’s service providers, the Community Placement Plan/ Forensics Unit, Accounting, Clinical and Executive Management as well as the Department of Developmental Services staff at Headquarters, Sonoma Developmental Center, and Sonoma Regional Project.   All clients are thriving in their new homes.  They are closer to family, participating in fulfilling activities, and discovering new opportunities and abilities.   

We are grateful for all of the collaborative efforts that made our journey together successful.

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