Polishing the Professional

Intake Process for Regional Center Services

Intake is the procedure to determine eligibility for regional center services. First, they gather data such as social, medical, and psychological information to evaluate the new referral. Information may come from outside sources or in-house interviews, examinations, and testing. The intake process consists of five steps, which may take up to 120 days.

Referral
Parents, legal guardians, or conservators can make referrals for intake. People can refer themselves to the Regional Center if they are 18 years or older. Professionals and concerned persons may make a referral; however, the permission of the individual, parent, or legal guardian is necessary.

Legally ordered evaluations may come from the courts or the Department of Children and Family Services.

Social History
Once the referral is accepted, the applicant will meet with a Regional Center Intake Counselor to gather background information. This information will include health and developmental history as well as information provided by family members. At this time, the intake process will be explained, including services that may be available if the applicant is found eligible.

Psychological Assessment
The Regional Center may complete psychological testing to determine if the applicant has an eligible diagnosis. In addition, recent evaluations attained in the community may be presented for review and may be used instead of re-evaluation at WRC.

Medical Assessment
Recent medical records and physician’s assessments are needed and required for each applicant. These records will be reviewed and possibly used in place of a WRC assessment. A Regional Center physician may also evaluate the applicant.

Eligibility Determination
A multidisciplinary team meets to review all gathered information. This team determines if the applicant meets the criteria for eligibility. If the applicant is found eligible, a meeting is held with all concerned parties to develop a Person-Centered Plan. If the applicant is not qualified, the Regional Center will make appropriate community referrals and recommendations, and our appeal procedures explained.

(Source: Westside Regional Center)

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