Conclusion of california cases - lawful opinions

 The types of services and supports that a regional center must provide are
“specialized services and supports or special adaptations of generic services and
supports directed toward the alleviation of a developmental disability or toward the
social, personal, physical, or economic habilitation or rehabilitation of an individual with
a developmental disability, or toward the achievement and maintenance of
independent, productive, normal lives.” (§ 4512, subd. (b).) Services and supports
include supported living services. The determination of which services and supports the
regional center shall provide is made “on the basis of the needs and preferences of the
consumer . . . [and] shall include consideration of a range of service options proposed
by individual program plan participants, the effectiveness of each option in meeting the
goals stated in the individual program plan, and the cost-effectiveness of each option.”
(Ibid.) As the California Supreme Court recognized in Association for Retarded Citizens,
supra, 38 Cal.3d at page 390, while a regional center has “no discretion at all in
determining whether to implement” an individual program plan, it has “‘wide discretion
in determining how to implement” an individual program plan.
The Lanterman Act, thus, establishes that a consumer’s preferences are to be
given consideration in a regional center’s decision-making processes in providing the
consumer with required services. But other factors, such as cost effectiveness, are to be
included in the regional center’s ultimate determination.
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 6. In this matter, claimant’s parents are extremely devoted to claimant’s
welfare and have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to their son as well as
other children and adults with autism. They are justifiably concerned with the issues that
have arisen with claimant’s current supported living services provider, and NBRC has
made a commitment to investigate those issues and has agreed to a change in service
providers. Claimant’s parents understandably demand competent and appropriate
supported living services for claimant. They have determined that Lifehouse is the only
provider capable to rendering appropriate services, and point to language in the
Lanterman Act allowing for a claimant’s informed choice as authority to resolve this
issue in favor of Lifehouse.
NBRC, however, has not been given authority by claimant’s parents to arrange for
appropriate supported living services. NBRC asserts that given the opportunity it will be
able to provide appropriate services from one of its vendors at a cost-effective rate.
7. Claimant’s individualized preferences cannot unreasonably hinder the
ability of a service agency to provide supported living services in manner consistent with
cost-effective use of public resources. (Welf. & Inst. Code, §§ 4689, 4512, subd. (b), 4646,
subd. (a)

; Cal. Code Regs., tit. 17, §§ 58611, and 58617.) On the other hand, there is no
authority for the proposition that a service agency can refuse to use a vendor outside of
its catchment area if it is unable to provide appropriate services through vendors within
its area. Indeed, the regulations provide for regional centers to use any agency that has
been vendorized by a service agency. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 17, § 54334, subds. (a), (b); §
54302, subds. (a)(73), (a)(77).) A courtesy vendorization arrangement may not be ideal
because of the lack of a contract between the parties, and it may not be feasible
because of a rate differential; however, at times it may be necessary.
In this matter, claimant’s appeal is premature because NBRC has not been given
the opportunity to arrange for appropriate services after learning about the problems
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encountered with the current provider. For this reason, claimant’s appeal must be
Claimant’s appeal is denied.
DATED: August 1, 2014

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