Once a person has been assessed and is found eligible for regional center services, they are assigned a Service Coordinator (SC). The SC contacts the client or their family to schedule a time to meet, gets to know them, and discusses their desired outcomes. The goal is to develop a plan of support that identifies what services and supports are needed and identify who will provide the service(s).
Clients may need help in talking about and planning for their future so the input of family members, and others who support them, can be helpful in the process. Others can be included in the meeting but, at minimum, it’s the client or their legal representative and the ACRC SC.
The Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Act states that every client over the age of three has a plan that identifies a set of goals and objectives detailing what he or she needs ACRC to help with; this document is called the Individual Program Plan (IPP).
For families with an infant or toddler under the age of three, this document is called the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) because its focus is on providing support and services to the family.
At the meeting, sometimes called a planning team meeting, a written IPP or IFSP is developed based on conversations of assessed needs. The document establishes the goals for the infant, toddler, child or adult, and identifies who will provide the service or support along with the funding source.
By law, ACRC must first exhaust all other resources such as private insurance, or natural supports and provide assistance to find and use community resources (called generic resources) before paying for any service or support. If ACRC funds any service or support, it must be identified in the IPP/IFSP or it cannot be provided.
The client’s IPP or the family’s IFSP is reviewed on a regularly scheduled basis to determine whether the supports and services being provided are successful in meeting the desired outcomes. This means they meet either four times a year, twice a year or annually depending on the types of services they receive and where they reside. Clients and/or families can also contact their SC and discuss the need for new or different services any time the need arises.
The Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Act requires that a person who receives services from a regional center, over the age of three, have an Individual Program Plan (IPP). An IPP identifies what outcomes the client and is working towards, who will provide the services or support and, if there is a cost associated with the service or support, who will fund it.
The IFSP for children birth to age 3 is the foundation of services that are family centered. It is based on a child’s strengths and a family’s concerns and priorities. The IFSP is a written plan that is the framework for meeting the unique needs of a child and a family. The IFSP is not a final document; it is an on-going process. For the initial IFSP, the law requires that it be developed within 45 days from a child’s referral for early intervention services.