California Assembly Bill No. 1232
An act to amend Section 4571 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to developmental services.
Status: Approved by Governor October 09, 2013. Filed with Secretary of State October 09, 2013.
The Legislature finds and declares that although existing law requires the State Department of Developmental Services to establish a quality assessment system to provide evaluation and oversight for regional center services, the current quality assessment system does not require evaluation or oversight to ensure that regional center services are provided in a linguistically and culturally competent manner.
Section 4571 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:
(a) It is the intent of the Legislature to ensure the well-being of consumers, taking into account their informed and expressed choices. It is further the intent of the Legislature to support the satisfaction and success of consumers through the delivery of quality services and supports. Evaluation of the services that consumers receive is a key aspect to the service system. Utilizing the information that consumers and their families provide about those services in a reliable and meaningful way is also critical to enable the department to assess the performance of the state’s developmental services system and to improve services for consumers in the future. To that end, the State Department of Developmental Services, on or before January 1, 2010, shall implement an improved, unified quality assessment system, in accordance with this section.
(b) The department, in consultation with stakeholders, shall identify a valid and reliable quality assurance instrument that assesses consumer and family satisfaction, provision of services in a linguistically and culturally competent manner, and personal outcomes. The instrument shall do all of the following:
(1) Provide nationally validated, benchmarked, consistent, reliable, and measurable data for the department’s Quality Management System.
(2) Enable the department and regional centers to compare the performance of California’s developmental services system against other states’ developmental services systems and to assess quality and performance among all of the regional centers.
(3) Include outcome-based measures such as health, safety, well-being, relationships, interactions with people who do not have a disability, employment, quality of life, integration, choice, service, and consumer satisfaction.
(4) Include outcome-based measures to evaluate the linguistic and cultural competency of regional center services that are provided to consumers across their lifetime.
(c) To the extent that funding is available, the instrument identified in subdivision (b) may be expanded to collect additional data requested by the State Council on Developmental Disabilities.
(d) The department shall contract with an independent agency or organization to implement by January 1, 2010, the quality assurance instrument described in subdivision (b). The contractor shall be experienced in all of the following:
(1) Designing valid quality assurance instruments for developmental service systems.
(2) Tracking outcome-based measures such as health, safety, well-being, relationships, interactions with people who do not have a disability, employment, quality of life, integration, choice, service, and consumer satisfaction.
(3) Developing data systems.
(4) Data analysis and report preparation.
(5) Assessments of the services received by consumers who are moved from developmental centers to the community, given the Legislature’s historic recognition of a special obligation to ensure the well-being of these persons.
(6) Issues related to linguistic and cultural competency.
(e) The department, in consultation with the contractor described in subdivision (d), shall establish the methodology by which the quality assurance instrument shall be administered, including, but not limited to, how often and to whom the quality assurance will be administered, and the design of a stratified, random sample among the entire population of consumers served by regional centers. The contractor shall provide aggregate information for all regional centers and the state as a whole. At the request of a consumer or the family member of a consumer, the survey shall be conducted in the primary language of the consumer or family member surveyed.
(f) The department shall contract with the state council to collect data for the quality assurance instrument described in subdivision (b). If, during the data collection process, the state council identifies any suspected violation of the legal, civil, or service rights of a consumer, or if it determines that the health and welfare of a consumer is at risk, that information shall be provided immediately to the regional center providing case management services to the consumer. At the request of the consumer, or family, when appropriate, a copy of the completed survey shall be provided to the regional center providing case management services to improve the consumer’s quality of services through the individual planning process.
(g) The department, in consultation with stakeholders, shall annually review the data collected from and the findings of the quality assurance instrument described in subdivision (b) and accept recommendations regarding additional or different criteria for the quality assurance instrument in order to assess the performance of the state’s developmental services system and improve services for consumers.
(h) All reports generated pursuant to this section shall be made publicly available, but shall not contain any personal identifying information about any person assessed.
(i) All data collected pursuant to subdivision (c) shall be provided to the state council, but shall contain no personal identifying information about the persons being surveyed.
(j) Implementation of this section shall be subject to an annual appropriation of funds in the Budget Act for this purpose.