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Complaints

 
California Alta Regional Center: Filing a Compliance Complaint Minimize

ALTA Board Hotline: (916) 978-6638

It is important to document your complaint by calling the Board Hotline to leave comments and concerns about Alta Regional Center.  

Attend Alta Board Meetings in person to make public comments. The ACRC Board meeting schedule and Committee meeting announcements can be obtained from
Lisa West, Board Secretary

LWest@AltaRegional.org

Below is a description of the Consumer Complaint Process with the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), which oversees Alta Regional Centers.


Consumer Rights Complaint Process Brochure
 
Department of Developmental Services Consumer Rights Complaint Process Minimize

http://www.dds.ca.gov/Complaints/Complt_CR.cfm 

What is the Consumer Complaint Process?
Section 4731 of the Welfare and Institutions Code (W&I Code) permits each consumer or any representative acting on his or her behalf, to pursue a complaint against a regional center, developmental center, or provider.

Who do I complain to if I believe that my rights have been violated?
Your complaint should be made to the director of the regional center from which you receive case management services. If you reside in a state developmental center, you should complain to the director of that developmental center.

How is this different from Fair Hearing?
The Fair Hearing Process is the procedure to use if you disagree with the nature, scope, or amount of services you receive, or are requesting the regional center to provide. This includes whether you are eligible for regional center services. Under this process, you are appealing a decision of the regional center about the services you are requesting or receiving.

The Consumer Complaint Process is the procedure to use if you believe that the regional center, developmental center, or a provider, has violated or improperly withheld a right to which you are entitled under the law. Under this process, you are asking that the regional center, developmental center, or provider, change its procedures for dealing with you and others in the future.

What will the Regional Center/Developmental Center Director do?
Within 20 working days of receiving the complaint, the regional center/developmental center director will investigate whether the charges are true and send a written response to you and, if appropriate, to the service provider. The regional center/developmental center director's response should contain a proposed resolution to your complaint, including suggestions to resolve your concerns or actions that will, or should, be taken so the problem does not occur in the future. It may or may not find that a right has been violated. If the issues in the complaint are about the nature, scope, or amount of services you receive, the regional center/developmental center director's response should refer you to your case manager to request an IPP meeting or to the Fair Hearing Process. The written response you receive from the regional center/developmental center director should include a telephone number and mailing address for referring your complaint to the Director of the Department of Developmental Services. The regional center/developmental center director's proposed resolution to your complaint will become effective on the 20th working day after you receive it unless you refer it to the next level of appeal.

What if I am not satisfied with the action taken or proposed by the Regional Center/Developmental Center Director?
If you are not satisfied with the action taken or proposed by the regional center/developmental center director, you may, within 15 working days, send your complaint in writing to the Director of the Department of Developmental Services. The Director will, within 45 days of receiving your complaint, issue a written administrative decision and send a copy of the decision to you, the director of the regional center or developmental center, and, if applicable, to the service provider. There is no administrative procedure to appeal the decision of the Director of the Department of Developmental Services.

Is the Regional Center/Developmental Center required to inform me about my right to file a complaint?
All consumers, or where appropriate, their parents, legal guardian, conservator, or authorized representative, must be notified in writing in a language that they comprehend, of the right to file a complaint when they apply for services from a regional center and at each regularly scheduled planning meeting.

How to file a complaint?
Send the completed Welfare and Institution Code Section 4731 Complaint form (DS 255 English | Spanish) or submit a signed and dated letter to the regional center or developmental center director that you are filing a complaint against per the Welfare and Institution Code Section 4731 complaint process. 
http://www.dds.ca.gov/statutes/WICSectionView.cfm?Section=4725-4731.htm 

If you have questions about this process, please contact your local Clients' Rights Advocate at: 
Or contact:

Office of Human Rights and Advocacy Services Department of Developmental Services
1600 9th Street, Room 240,
MS 2-15 Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 654-1888
(916) 651-8210 fax

 
Regional Center or Vendor/Contractor Whistleblower Complaints Minimize

Definition of Regional Center or Vendor/Contractor Whistleblower Complaints: Regional Center or Vendor/Contractor Whistleblower complaints are defined as the reporting of an "improper regional center or vendor/contractor activity."

An "improper regional center activity" means an activity by a regional center, or an employee, officer, or board member of a regional center, in the conduct of regional center business, that is a violation of a state or federal law or regulation; violation of contract provisions; fraud or fiscal malfeasance; misuse of government property; or constitutes gross misconduct, incompetency, or inefficiency.

An "improper vendor/contractor activity" means an activity by a vendor/contractor, or an employee, officer, or board member of a vendor/contractor, in the provision of DDS funded services, that is a violation of a state or federal law or regulation; violation of contract provisions; fraud or fiscal malfeasance; misuse of government property; or constitutes gross misconduct, incompetency, or inefficiency.

The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) has a variety of complaint and appeal processes available to vendors/contractors, agencies, facilities, parents, and consumers. These include Consumer Rights Complaints; Early Start Complaints, Due Process Requests, and Mediation Conference Requests; Lanterman Act Fair Hearing Requests; Title 17 Complaints; Citizen Complaints and Comments (see Appeals, Complaints & Comments for a complete list). Each of these complaint and appeal processes has separate and distinct procedures for resolution. This process directive relates only to the Regional Center or Vendor/Contractor Whistleblower complaints as described above.


Confidentiality: DDS will do everything possible to maintain the confidentiality of a complainant making a whistleblower complaint if the complainant requests confidentiality. However, in the rare circumstances where DDS is unable to maintain confidentiality due to its statutory responsibilities (including ensuring the health and safety of consumers and regional center contract compliance), the Department will attempt to inform the complainant of its need to disclose certain information prior to releasing identifying information. Additionally, the identity of the complainant may be revealed to appropriate law enforcement agencies conducting a criminal investigation.

About Filing a Complaint: We will need a clear and concise statement of the improper activity and any evidence you have to support the allegation.

If you do not provide a name or other information (witnesses or documents) that clearly identifies the person you are alleging has acted improperly, and the regional center or vendor/contractor where that person works, we may not have sufficient information to investigate. Copies of documents, rather than originals, should be submitted, as they cannot be returned.

Although complaints may be filed anonymously, if insufficient information is provided and we have no means to contact you, we may not be able to investigate your allegations.

A complaint may be filed by contacting:
Community Operations Division
1600 9th Street, Room 320, MS 3-9
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 654-1958 
(916) 654-3641 Fax

Community Services and Supports Division (for Early Start program services)
1600 9th Street, Room 340, MS 3-24
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 654-2716
(916) 654-3020 Fax

 
California Department of Education (CDE)Special Education Division—Filing a Complaint Minimize

Before filing a compliance complaint as outlined below, you should first file a Uniform Complaint Procedure with your student's school district to show you have attempted to resolve the issue within the school district. Here is a link to information about when and how to file a Uniform Complaint Procedure within your child's school district. Scroll down the page for samples of complaints:  
http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/cp/uc/index.asp

Procedural Safeguards Referral Service (PSRS) provides technical assistance information and resources for parents, school districts, advocates, agencies and others of procedural safeguards regarding students between the ages 3 and 21 with disabilities and their education rights. 
Phone (800) 926-0648; TTY (916)323-9779
Fax (916) 327-3704
Email speceducation@cde.ca.gov
Weekdays 9 am to 4 


Request for Complaint Investigation: 
  • A complaint may be filed through the use of this form or be accepted as formal complaints because they do not meet signature requirements under 34 C.F.R. 300.153(b)(3). If upon analysis of a request, a complaint is opened, a complaint investigation will be completed within 60 days of receipt in the CDE, Special Education Division PSRS of all required information.   
  • The written complaint must specify at least one alleged violation of state and/ or federal special education laws that occurred not more than one year prior to the date the complaint is received by the CDE.  
  • The party filing a complaint must forward a copy of the complaint to the LEA or public agency serving the child at the same time the party files a compliance complaint with the CDE. (34 C.F.R. 300.153 (d)) Send a copy of the complaint to your State Senator and Assembly-Person. Please return the completed form to: 
California Department of Education Special Education Division Procedural Safeguards Referral Service
1430 N Street, Suite 2401
Sacramento, CA 95814
(800) 926-0648
(916) 327-3704 fax


Additional information may be obtained at: 
 http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/se/qa/documents/complnthints.asp
 http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/se/qa/documents/cmplntinvsrqst.doc 
 www.cde.ca.gov/sp/se/qa/documents/cmplntproc.pdf

 
Office for Civil Rights Complaints Minimize

Who Can File an Office for Civil Rights (OCR) Discrimination Complaint?
Anyone who believes that an education institution that receives federal financial assistance has discriminated against someone on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age, or who believes that a public elementary or secondary school, or state or local education agency has violated the Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act, may file a complaint. The person or organization filing the complaint need not be a victim of the alleged discrimination but may complain on behalf of another person or group. A complaint must be filed within 180 calendar days of the date of the alleged discrimination, unless the time for filing is extended by OCR for good cause. 

For more information go to:
 http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/complaints/index.html

  • FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) complaints should be filed through OCR. 
  • How to File an Online Complaint: Complainants wishing to file a complaint may do so by  
    • E-mail: Complainants may file a complaint, using the following e-mail address: ocr@ed.gov. (Use the same procedures as above.) 
    • Online: Complainants may file a complaint with OCR using OCR’s electronic complaint form at the following Web site: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html
 
Servers and Systems (The Sites) are for educational and informational purposes only. Information provided through The Sites should not be used as a substitute for care by a qualified Developmental Pediatrician, Pediatric Neurologist, Behavioral Psychologist, Behavior Analyst, Speech and Language Pathologist, Attorney, or other appropriate professional.