4300 Department of Developmental Services
Program Descriptions


Through the network of regional centers, the Department supports the development and maintenance of services for eligible persons with developmental disabilities who reside in the community. The Department also assesses the needs of individuals who reside in state-operated facilities and develops community resources to assist those who would be more appropriately served in the community. The regional centers directly provide or coordinate the following services and supports in accordance with Individual Program Plans: (1) information and referral, (2) assessment and diagnosis, (3) counseling, (4) lifelong individualized planning and service coordination, (5) purchase of necessary services included in the individual program plan, (6) assistance in finding and using community and other resources, (7) advocacy for the protection of legal, civil, and service rights, (8) early intervention services for at-risk infants and their families, (9) genetic counseling, (10) family support, (11) planning, placement, and monitoring for 24-hour out-of-home care, (12) training and educational opportunities for individuals and families, (13) community education about developmental disabilities, and (14) habilitation services.

The Department monitors regional centers to ensure they operate in accordance with statute, regulations, and their contract with the Department.


The Department operates five Developmental Centers: Agnews, Fairview, Lanterman, Porterville, and Sonoma. Secure treatment services are provided at Porterville Developmental Center. In addition, the Department leases two facilities for persons who require specialized behavioral interventions: Sierra Vista, a 58-bed facility in Yuba City, and Canyon Springs, a 63-bed facility in Cathedral City. Services at all facilities involve the provision of active treatment through residential and day programs on a 24-hour basis, including appropriate medical and dental care, health maintenance activities, and assistance with activities of daily living, training, education, employment, etc.

The primary objectives of the Developmental Centers Program include providing care, treatment, and habilitative services in the most efficient, effective, and least restrictive manner to all individuals referred to the Developmental Centers Program by the regional centers, county mental health departments, and/or the judicial system; and providing services to individuals that ensure increased independence, maintenance or improvement of health and welfare, and enhanced personal competence and effectiveness in all areas of daily living.

The Developmental Centers Division provides central administrative and clinical management services to the five Developmental Centers and the two leased facilities to ensure the quality of services provided, compliance with state licensing and federal certification requirements, protection of consumers and staff, and maintenance of facility structures and grounds. Areas of responsibility include the development of policy and procedures for all aspects of the Developmental Centers operations, law enforcement and protective services, facility population management, program and fiscal oversight, and facilities planning and support.


The objective of this program is to provide overall management, planning and policy development, and legal, legislative, audit, and administrative services to the Department.