The person who will be your main contact and partner at Alta California Regional Center (ACRC) is your Service Coordinator, often referred to as SC. This is the person who will get to know you and/or your family member and provide you with support, information and service choices so you or your family member can move towards achieving the outcomes he/she desires and that you want for him/her.
Service Coordinators are professionals in the area of developmental disabilities. This means they have at least a Bachelor’s degree in a human service or related field, such as social work, psychology or special education and are knowledgeable about developmental disabilities and the resources, supports and services that you and/or your family member may need.
SCs are assigned to units that are designed to make them more effective and more knowledgeable about services and the people they serve. The primary organization is by client age, allowing SCs to develop specialized knowledge about the needs of clients within their age group and the types of services that they most often need. Within the age-based departments, SCs are organized into geographically-defined units to help them become familiar with the services available in the neighborhoods and communities they serve.
In assigning SCs, ACRC makes every effort to be sensitive to cultural differences and meet the language needs of our families. We have a multi-ethnic staff and SCs who speak languages such as Spanish, Russian, Hmong, Punjabi and use American Sign Language (ASL), in addition to English.
Once you are assigned an SC, we will make every effort to ensure continuity in that relationship. Despite this, there will be times that you or your family member’s SC will change. Sometimes this is due to the employee leaving the regional center or being promoted to another position. Changes occur at other times because of how our service coordination teams are organized (described above). Because of age specialization, a child coming into the regional center as an infant or toddler may change SCs a minimum of three times; birth to age 36 months, age three to 17 and 17 and older.
While your SC may change, your primary relationship is with ACRC and we will always be here for you and/or your family member. You can be assured support will be available, and when there is a change, the old and new SCs, when possible, will work together to ensure a smooth transition for you and/or your child.
At ACRC, we recognize that your family is the most important and most consistent source of care and support for you or your family member with a developmental disability throughout his or her life. Our goal is to strengthen your family’s ability to promote the development of your family member. In order to do this your SC will offer you support, information and choices.
Support: Your SC will provide you with support in a variety of ways. He or she will offer direct support by listening to your concerns and respecting your opinions and by advocating for you with generic agencies such as the school district, Social Security and Medi-Cal. He or she will also help you find other sources of support, including peer support from other regional center families and natural supports in your family and community.
Information: As you or your family member’s needs change over time, so too will your need for information. SCs will keep you informed of resources and events in your community as well as consulting with specialists within our regional center and the community to get answers to your questions.
Choices: Your SC will help you make choices, develop plans and look ahead to the future. He or she will help you identify the outcomes you want for yourself or your family member and make sure the there is a written plan to achieve these results.
He or she will help you identify the important people in your, or your family member’s life who will be part of your planning team and will work with you regularly to review your or your family member’s progress and evaluate the quality and effectiveness of the supports and services you receive.