California Regional Centers
The Regional Center system in California involves 21 separate quasi-private
centers that function to provide certain services to developmentally delayed children throughout California. Each Regional Center operates independently, such that there are some differences in eligibility criteria and services provided
from one Regional Center to another. However, all basically require a physician’s documentation that the child has a recognized developmental disability--either a motor or mental disability or both--for the family to receive services. Many families are put in touch with the Regional Center by hospital staff after the baby is born. However, in cases where no disability is recognized until after the baby is discharged from the hospital, a pediatrician’s evaluation of a disability is required and that can often result in some delay in a family receiving appropriate services.
Since each Regional Center receives most of its budget from state public money, the ability of each Regional Center to actually provide the services for children and their families, is affected by limitations in public funding. As such, many children who would otherwise be eligible for Regional Center services do not receive such services.
- California Children Services (CCS)
- Physical Therapy (PT)
- Occupational Therapy (OT)
- Speech Therapy (ST)