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 regional centers directly provide or coordinate the following services and supports: (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 infants and their families, (9) family support, (10) planning, placement, and monitoring for 24-hour out-of-home care, (11) training and educational opportunities for individuals and families, (12) community education about developmental disabilities, and (13) habilitation services. The needs of individuals who reside in state-operated facilities are assessed and community resources are developed to assist those who can appropriately transition to the community.

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


The Department operates three developmental centers: Fairview (Orange County), Porterville (Tulare County), and Sonoma (Sonoma County). Secure treatment services are provided at Porterville Developmental Center. In addition, the Department leases one small community facility for persons who require specialized behavioral interventions: Canyon Springs, a 63-bed facility in Cathedral City. The developmental centers are licensed as General Acute Care Hospitals with distinct parts for skilled nursing care and intermediate care (ICF). Canyon Springs operates as an ICF only. 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, and employment.

The Lanterman Developmental Center (Los Angeles County) closed in December 2014.

The primary objectives of the Developmental Centers Program include providing care, treatment, and habilitation services to residents based upon assessed need and as outlined in each person's Individual Program Plan. These services are offered in the most efficient, effective, and least restrictive manner to all individuals referred by the regional centers and/or the judicial system; and are designed to teach individuals skills for increased independence, provide for preservation or improvement of health and welfare, and enhance personal competence in all areas of daily living.

The Developmental Centers Division provides central administrative and clinical management services to the three developmental centers and the leased small community facility 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 to the Department (1) overall management, planning and policy development, legal, legislative, audit, and administrative services, and (2) revenue and reimbursement collections from federal and state programs, insurance companies, and private payers for the cost of services.