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Developmental Center Plan Outlined

In light of Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised fiscal year 2014-2015 budget proposal, an Assembly subcommittee last week heard a plan to restructure the state’s developmental centers.

At Friday’s hearing of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, a plan based on the recommendations of a developmental center task force was outlined to re-appropriate $13 million for the centers. The new plan calls for funding to be used in a few very different ways from past efforts.  

“The results of that task force are some of the incremental issues that are being presented here as views of the [Brown] Administration,” said Santi Rogers, director of California’s Department of Developmental Services. “We’re excited about them. … Now, with your support, we can get on our way real aggressively. I can assure you of that.”

Rogers said the proposed policy changes are the result of a strong validation of the stakeholder process, during which hundreds of people in the developmental health community contributed time and ideas.

“We are pleased that this has been approved by the administration so we can sit here and be excited about tomorrow,” he said.

According to Nancy Bargmann, deputy director of the Community Services Division of DDS, the roughly $13 million will be spent in a more patient-centered approach. The spending plan includes:

  • $5.4 million to develop six behavior support centers;
  • $3.9 million to develop two community crisis homes, one in Northern California, one in Southern California;
  • $2.4 million to expand existing models of care and create of greater capacity for those with complex medical needs, including additional adult residential facilities for those with special medical needs and two transition homes;
  • $1.2 million for regional center staffing; and
  • $121,000 to address quality risk management issues.

“As part of the May revision, the department has identified specific steps toward implementing the task force recommendations,” Bargmann said. “The $13 million re-appropriation will address two recommendations: issues related to individuals with enduring and complex medical needs, and issues related to individuals with challenging behaviors and support needs.”

The subcommittee did not vote on the proposal, but continued it to further consideration, though approval for the plan was clear.

“We are now on a pathway where people are moving forward together, and that’s very positive,” said Assembly member Wesley Chesbro (D-Arcata). “I’m particularly excited … that we will put in place the supports necessary for any transitions into the community.”

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