California regional center on probation

25 Jan

The California Department of Developmental Services (CDDS) has a simple charger: “The California Department of Developmental Services is the agency through which the State of California provides services and supports to individuals with developmental disabilities.” The CDDS works under the framework of the Lanterman Act. Key to the Lanterman Act is the concept that the state would empower local, private agencies to both manage and provide these services. From the management side, this lead to the Regional Center system. Regional Centers are local nonprofits which contract with service providers to serve the clients (developmentally disabled) in their area.

One of these regional centers is IRC–Inland Regional Center, which serves Riverside and San Bernadino counties (inland from Los Angeles).

The Sacramento Bee (the main newspaper for the State’s capital) ran this story earlier this month: California housing for developmentally disabled has high cost.

Now, I got to admit, I read that title and though, “uh-oh. Here comes another of those stories criticizing services for the disabled. But, here are the first few paragraphs of that story:

In 2006, a state-funded center serving developmentally disabled people spent $2.9 million to develop four houses for its clients in Riverside County.

Just months after the houses were completed, the county assessor’s office estimated the properties were worth $1.1 million less than the Inland Regional Center had paid to build them.

Four years later, they’re worth 31 percent of their cost.

The $2 million loss, as documented by tax records and assessor data, wasn’t just the result of a bad real estate bet made with public money by the regional center, which is part of the state’s system of 21 nonprofits charged with arranging care for developmentally disabled people.

I don’t know what is worse, the idea that services for the developmentally disabled cost too much on their own, or that some sort of mismanagement is costing taxpayers extra in their support of the developmentally disabled.

The Sacramento Bee has followed up recently with the story: Southern California center serving disabled put on probation

The state Department of Developmental Services has placed on probation the largest of 21 publicly funded regional centers serving developmentally disabled people, saying it illegally used state money to develop housing, violated the center’s contract with the state and circumvented a statutory freeze placed on rates paid to care providers.

The department sent a letter dated Jan. 19 about its actions to the center’s board in Southern California.

Ouch. Ouch on so many levels. Yes, as a taxpayer, I hate the idea of my money being wasted. On the other hand, this goes to the fact that organizations like the regional centers hold much more than the obvious (supplying support). They hold a large part of the reputation of the community. In times like these, with the economic stresses we are under, we can’t afford stories like those above.

15 Responses to “California regional center on probation”

  1. Clay January 25, 2011 at 22:11 #

    “Just months after the houses were completed, the county assessor’s office estimated the properties were worth $1.1 million less than the Inland Regional Center had paid to build them.”

    I would suspect some collusion and kickbacks between the contractor who built them, and whoever okayed the bids. Were they all built by the same contractor?

    “Four years later, they’re worth 31 percent of their cost.”

    The additional $1 million loss may have been a result of the real estate bubble.

    • Sullivan January 25, 2011 at 22:23 #

      Hey Clay, thanks for stopping by. I was just over at your blog a few minutes ago. How can I not read a blog post, “Crickets on Speed“?

  2. stanley seigler January 27, 2011 at 19:32 #

    [clay say] I would suspect some collusion and kickbacks between the contractor who built them, and whoever okayed the bids. Were they all built by the same contractor?

    you think!

    some added information…

    the regional center did not contractually obligate a transportation vendor to provide any specific deliverable, the regional center could not hold the vendor to any specific level of performance. Finally, this same vendor was later awarded a multimillion-dollar contract to become the regional center’s transportation broker…the central administrator for consumer transportation routing

    California Housing Foundation (CHF), a non-profit agency started by Inland Regional Center (IRS 990) shows assets/liabilities of $3.5M for 2006. In 2009 their assets were $90M. The significant increase was a bond CHF took out to build a new, $50M facility…dont know from where the additional $40M in assets comes…oh/and IRC will fund CHF $221M over 30 years to pay back the bond.

    and buildings not needed and contributed nothing, nothing, to quality of life of those supported by IRC.

    stanley seigler

    • demille Nechoda June 17, 2013 at 10:45 #

      im dealing with a regional center that has not provided services for 9 yrs but if you call and ask he is still a client and eligible for servies since 1999.

  3. Hillary C for president January 2, 2014 at 10:06 #

    The California 21 Regional Centers are a joke! They are run by the worst of the worst sociopaths. Media has reported on the corruption inside regional centers for years, but legislators do NOTHING to protect the disabled! San Diego Regional Center for example, is out of control in their corruption. Of all the irony, the San Diego Regional Center branch, has executive director Carlos Flores and his Associate case manager wife, Nina Garrett running (oh, sorry, ruining things) for way too long! Time to CLEAN HOUSE. NIna Garrett is someone who makes decisions on what services and supports someone with disabilities in Regional Center gets, and if you think Nina has violated your child’s rights, you have to file a 4731 complaint and it goes to her HUSBAND, Carlos Flores, and he “investigates” the complaint. Let’s get this straight: In san diego regional center, Carlos Flores is the executive director. The STATE site (Department of Developmental Services, DDS) says that if a parent has a complaint, the parent is to file the complaint with the executive director of Regional Center. Okay, so if the executive director is Carlos Flores, and his wife, Nina Garrett is the Associate Case Manger in charge of making serious decision on services and supports for kids with disabilities, than we know that any complaint involving Nina Garrett is going to be brushed over by her boss, executive director of Regional Center husband, Carlos Flores. Helllllllllloooooooo. WAKE UP

  4. Masterjhi January 6, 2014 at 07:12 #

    I agree regional centers is the worst system ever created by the state government. There is so much i can say about regional centers and there incompetent ways of doing business. The fact of the matter is that regional centers don’t need to exist simply because services for families and consumers can be run through the state government without having to deal with the BS bureaucracy (which is what regional centers actually is in retrospect). The regional centers to this day still lack accountability and transparency which is the main reason why they are corrupt. Not much has really changed since the BSA audit and the main issues haven’t really been Addressed. Service providers continue to face rate issues and issues with labor laws simply because the rates are not sufficient enough to operate a business and more specifically a residential care facility. I am very surprised that some of the regional center directors did not face any criminal charges considering how corrupt and unaccountable they have been in the past. Law changes human behavior and if no one is made an example of than in reality there are no consequences and no changes can be made for the better. But here is the harsh reality of all this:

    1. Regional centers have and never will care about the service providers who are the backbone for the quality of life of the consumers being served.

    2. Regional centers are only concerned about there own interests because in their stupid minds (yes people that’s what i said stupid minds) think service providers are paid more than enough and think that we hide our nice cars in the garage before a quarterly meeting with a CSC.

    3. Social work is a pretty easy college major which doesn’t require a lot of thinking but requires someone who is compassionate, caring and believes in the equality of all human beings. Even an MSW is not that difficult. which brings me to my next point that because much of the administration and case managers have majored in the liberal arts its difficult for them to understand how a business operates and that labor laws are a huge killer to residential providers who end either shutting down due to employees filing complaints or end up having to pay there employees more just to comply with the labor laws and end up not making a profit sufficient enough to feed them and there families. The fact is service providers are providing more services and taking home less than they really should be getting. Oh that’s right i forgot the marriage and family class didn’t teach P & L statements or financial statements. Maybe they should have signed up for the accounting class and learn a little something about business. And i can bet my nice car in the garage that many of the regional center administration can’t even understand a simple p&L statement because if they had changed there major in college than there is a very good chance that we would not be in the situation we are today. It would probably be in the best interest for most regional centers to hire directors from corporate America so they can understand a thing or two about business and financial statements instead of nursing or social work.

    4. Because of these social work majors there is too much ideology rather than reality than drives the system. Because the focus is more on the consumer rather than on service providers regional centers continue to make poor public policy decisions that affect the quality of life and efficiency of services. And besides who is dumb idea was it to create a 4-bed home without any rate increase. I might as well volunteer my time at the salvation army with that policy. Oh and let’s not forget that California minimum wage as of July 2014 is now going to be $9.00. But that doesn’t matter because we are all suppose to be social work majors and work for the betterment of humanity. So what happens to the rate well basically nothing. Well maybe if were lucky we might get a $3.00 increase on our programming money per consumer. Point being, Because of poor public policy decisions the regional center system will either collapse sending our consumers back into state institutions where more taxpayer money will be wasted or the state must take over.

    5. The state will not take the responsibility in providing the services and instead will rely on regional centers because at the end of the day its about cost and instead will create non-profit ( “my ass”) regional center because it is more cost efficient and therefore no whistle blowers would exist.

    6. Anyone that understands administrative law understands that title 17 is not administratively enforceable on service providers. So in other words regional center QA are a bunch of hall monitors who come to your facility just to monitor you but in reality can’t really enforce any regulations on you unless the provider has a violated a serious health and safety issue requiring that the consumer move from the facility. On the other hand Title 22 is the state licensing division of social services and has the police powers given to them by the government. Remember Regional center is a non-profit social work organization and is only based on an ideology for people with developmental disabilities and is not given any administrative powers by the government. (I bet many of us didn’t know that one). So in reality if you violate a regulation regional center can only enforce the rule by tattle tailing to community care licensing. think of it this way, regional center is just a rent a cop like George zimmerman.

    In conclusion, you might think i am arrogant or a complainer but that’s ok because unless your a service provider or parent reading this than you would understand my pain. And for those of you who don’t well it must mean your pretty incompetent not to understand what is happening. Anyhow, based on what i have said so far as long as a bureaucracy exists the interests of the public will never be addressed and will only protect the interest of those with power and money. Unitil the legislature acknowledges that the problem is the regional centers of california no changes can be made.

  5. Hillary C for president February 21, 2014 at 01:48 #

    The Department of Developmental Disabilities (DDS) is compromised. For example, the DDS governs 21 regional centers. However, one of these 21 regional centers is involved in a great conflict of interest that everyone paid by CALIF. funding in this system, has tried to cover up. For instance, Carlos Flores, is the Executive Director of San DIego Regional Center, and his wife, Nina Garrett is the Assistant Chief of Case Management at the same regional center, but the use different last names so not a lot of people know this. Even worse, Carlos Flores is on the ridiculous “task force” comprised by people at the Dept. of Developmental Disabilities, the same agency that funds and governs regional centers, only we all know by now that this is a front. A ruse. A total scam. A joke. A corrupted organization that is a front to gain money for pretending to help the disabled when in reality the top employees at DDS and all these regional centers are funneling monies into other areas that have nothing to do with directly helping disabled people. This entire system serving disabled is compromised. We have judges that are paid by the same funding mechanism that funds the DDS and REgional center systems. We have Client advocacy agencies that are funded by the SAME DDS funding mechanisms that are told they can’t appeal cases when an administrative Judge, funded by the same system makes an idiotic or compromised by higher influence decision. The system serving disabled in California is one of the most corrupted systems that has ever been seen and it must be exposed for the sham it is. Time for Congress to do a serious investigation of California’s 21 regional centers, and the Dept. of Developmental disabilities. There are corrupt, evil people working in there that need to be exposed and fired.

    • ellen U May 12, 2014 at 00:53 #

      Why is Carlos Flores of San Diego Regional Center advertising himself on the sdrc.org web as an MD? He’s not a medical doctor.

  6. ellen U May 15, 2014 at 09:24 #

    San Diego Regional Center San Diego County fires: update: the San Diego Regional Center, the agency in charge of services and emergency supports for disabled children and adults does NOT have a plan in place to help vulnerable disabled children and adults during fire season…..just a heads up…..

  7. autismrightsnow June 1, 2014 at 00:24 #

    Warning: San Diego Magazine’s 2014 naming Ronald R House a “top lawyer” for developmentally disabled is WRONG and extremely misleading to the public. Ron House, of San Diego Regional Center is an IN HOUSE attorney who WORKS for San Diego Regional Center and FIGHTS AGAINST FAMILIES who have developmentally disabled children. San Diego Magazine editors needs to fact check before they award someone a title that is completely misleading….

    Ron House can be found in dozens of OAH cases in San Diego California, representing the quasi governmental agency he works for, the SDRC, san diego regional center. Mr. House is the state funded government agency ATTORNEY who fights against parents who requests services and supports for disabled consumers of SDRC. RONALD R HOUSE is NOT an attorney who fights FOR developmentally disabled. HE IS AGAINST THE DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED. AND THEIR FAMILIES. HOLY SHITE WHO VOTED FOR THIS CLOWN? THE SAN DIEGO REGIONAL CENTER STAFF? How can Mr. House not hold his head down in utter shame, knowing this is a complete FRAUDULENT PORTRAYAL OF WHO HE IS and where he really works and what he REALLY does….How misleading to the special needs community can you possibly get…Ron House once fought a family whose severely autistic adult son needed 2:1 supports to continue living in his out of home placement…RON HOUSE is not autism friendly. He’s involved in dozens of cases fighting against families who have autistic (and other special needs) children who need help.

    Example of one of MANY cases where Mr. Ron House FIGHTS against developmentally disabled people who NEED services and supports.
    1 BEFORE THE OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS …
    http://www.documents.dgs.ca.gov/oah/DDS…/2011091095.084.pdf
    California
    Jan 11, 2012 – Ron House, Esq., represented the service agency, San Diego Regional … action denying funding for an educational consultant for claimant.

    • Mandy July 26, 2014 at 05:31 #

      And don’t forget some Regional Centers will throw Department of Developmental Services under the bus to save themselves. They will blame DDS for something and play stupid.

  8. Petie October 9, 2014 at 08:52 #

    Just discovered through research that California’s Office of Client’s Right’s attorneys are forced to “sign an agreement with Department of developmental disabilities” that they will NOT APPEAL cases if the Regional Center wins the OAH hearing. MMMMMMMMM. So the Office of Client’s rights is FUNDED by Department of Developmental Services, and in order to get that funding, they have to “agree” NOT to “APPEAL” any cases where a disabled person needs to appeal? Woe. DDS has been lying to congress for years about who they are and what they really do. A bunch of compromised weak, weak, weak people who, on their death beds, will have visions of all the people they’ve ever neglected due to their lies and cover ups.

  9. Petie November 9, 2014 at 05:25 #

    California regional centers are mostly Dummy Corporations. They are set up to funnel money through the agencies but aren’t really helping the disable in the way they tell the public they are……………………….

  10. Petie November 9, 2014 at 05:26 #

    And as for Fair Hearings//////there is NOTHING FAIR about “fair hearings” for parents of disabled children going against the regional centers.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tweets that mention Autism Blog - California regional center on probation « Left Brain/Right Brain -- Topsy.com - January 25, 2011

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