Code Section Group

Welfare and Institutions Code - WIC


  ( Division 4.5 added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1252. )

CHAPTER 12. Community Living Continuums [4830 - 4846]
  ( Chapter 12 added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 1232. )


As used in this chapter:

(a) “Continuum” means a coordinated multicomponent services system within geographic regions of the state whose design shall support the sequential developmental needs of persons so that the pattern of these services provides an unbroken chain of experience, maximum personal growth, and liberty.

(b) “Normalization” means making available programs, methods, and titles that are culturally normative, and patterns and conditions of everyday life that are as close as possible to the norms and patterns of the mainstream of society.

(c) “Designated agency” means the legal entity selected by the State Department of Developmental Services to be responsible for organizing or providing services within each continuum or both.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 409, Sec. 58. (AB 1595) Effective January 1, 2015.)


The State Department of Developmental Services may develop the design and phase-in plan for continuums and may designate one or more designated agencies to implement community living continuums throughout the state, after consideration of a recommendation from the State Council on Developmental Disabilities in conjunction with recommendations from the appropriate regional center.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 409, Sec. 59. (AB 1595) Effective January 1, 2015.)


(a) The State Council on Developmental Disabilities may review and evaluate existing and proposed community living arrangement programs within the various regions of the state and may make a recommendation to the Director of Developmental Services concerning programs that should be considered as the most appropriate agency to be designated as responsible for the implementation of the community living continuum within their area. These programs shall include, but not be limited to, those that have been funded through the issuance of Mental Retardation Private Institutions’ Fund grants, state council program development grants, and model state hospital programs. Consideration shall be given to all of the following:

(1) Private nonprofit corporations.

(2) Public agencies.

(3) A joint powers agreement agency.

(b) At least one-third of the board of directors, public or private, or an advisory committee in the event a public agency is selected, shall be composed of consumer representatives, including members of the immediate family of the consumer.

(c) A person shall not serve as a director or advisory committee member who has a financial interest, as defined in Section 87103 of the Government Code, in designated agency operations, except with respect to any interest as a consumer of a designated agency or regional center services.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 409, Sec. 60. (AB 1595) Effective January 1, 2015.)


Upon designation by the Department of Developmental Services pursuant to Section 4831, the designated agency established pursuant to Section 4832 shall:

(a) Design, organize and/or provide services for persons in local communities.

(b) Seek and utilize funds from all available resources.

(c) Assure that all programs within the community living continuum shall provide all employees with competency-based, pre- and in-service training, which is coordinated with appropriate, public education agencies.

(d) Establish public support and acceptance for community development with full integration of individuals with developmental special needs.

The community living continuums shall be based upon the principle of normalization and shall include provisions for, but not be limited to, individual choice of living in home, in various types of apartments, small group dwellings, or condominiums. The department and these programs shall assure that services are provided in, or as close to, a person’s home community as feasible.

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 1232.)


The Director of the Department of Developmental Services may contract with a designated agency, pursuant to this chapter.

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 1232.)


(a) The Director of Developmental Services may establish uniform operational procedures, performance and evaluation standards, and utilization criteria for designated agencies pursuant to this chapter.

(b) These standards and criteria shall be developed with participation by consumer organizations, the State Council on Developmental Disabilities, the Association of Regional Center Agencies, the State Department of Social Services, the State Department of Health Care Services, the State Department of Education, and the Department of Rehabilitation, and consultations with individuals with experience in developmental services programming.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 409, Sec. 61. (AB 1595) Effective January 1, 2015.)


The director shall prepare a yearly report to the Legislature on the progress and effectiveness of the system using the state evaluation model in accordance with this division.

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 1232.)


The Director of Developmental Services may provide 90-day advance funding to the designated agency or community-based programs for the development or provision of continuum services under the jurisdiction of the department.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any contract entered into by the department with a designated agency pursuant to this chapter may provide for periodic advance payments for services to be performed under such contract. No advance payment made pursuant to this section shall exceed 25 percent of the total annual contract amount.

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 1232.)


The State Department of Developmental Services may study and prepare a plan in cooperation with the State Council on Developmental Disabilities. The plan should consider the following:

(a) Necessary technical assistance, training, and evaluation to assure standards of quality and program success.

(b) Maximization of existing state and federal resources available to assist persons with developmental special needs to live in the least restrictive environment possible, including the following:

(1) Federal housing subsidy and assistance.

(2) Supplemental security income.

(3) Local social services.

(4) Local and state health services and related resources.

(c) Procedural standards for designated agencies, including the following:

(1) Program development process.

(2) Training for workers in the developmental services field.

(3) Management information system.

(4) Fiscal accountability and cost benefit control.

(5) Establishment of contractual relationships.

(6) Evaluation.

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 538, Sec. 696. Effective January 1, 2007.)


Notwithstanding the provisions of Sections 4675, 4676 and 4677, the Director of Developmental Services, when reviewing, approving, and allocating money from the Program Development Fund for community living arrangements, shall give high priority to programs which may be included in a continuum.

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 1232.)


To accomplish the goals enumerated in Section 4833, the director may:

(a) Develop a continuum training model and provide technical assistance to providers of community living arrangements through state and county agencies and regional center professional collaboration.

(b) Establish competency-based training programs.

(c) Centralize and increase the availability and dissemination of information regarding community living arrangements.

(d) Assist the agencies in community living continuums and regional centers in the recruitment of qualified care providers and staff in order to fulfill the increasing need for quality living arrangements and support services.

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 1232.)


The Director of Developmental Services shall initiate and monitor interagency performance agreements between the Department of Rehabilitation, the State Department of Health Care Services, the State Department of Social Services, and the Department of Housing and Community Development to ensure planning, coordination, and resource sharing.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 34, Sec. 78. (SB 1009) Effective June 27, 2012.)


If authorized by regulations adopted by the department and if not available through other state or local programs, the continuum services may with respect to the designated agency, include, but shall not be limited to:

(a) Family subsidy programs.

(b) In-home support services.

(c) Subsidized adoptive and quasi-adoptive foster care services.

(d) Alternative respite services.

(e) Crisis assistance.

(f) Independent and semi-independent living.

(g) Group living for six or fewer persons.

(h) Programs to meet the special needs of individuals who are medically fragile.

(i) Services to persons requiring maximum supervision due to intensive behavioral and severe developmental special needs.

It is not the intent of this section to release any other state or local agency of its program responsibilities.

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 1232.)


Interagency agreements shall be established between the regional centers and the community living continuums to assure clear roles and responsibilities for delivery of services; and may include the Department of Rehabilitation Independent Living Programs where applicable.

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 1232.)

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