Caseload Ratio Plan of Correction Information and Survey
Survey deadline: October 30, 2020
Post Date:10/23/2020 11:37 AM
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Caseload Ratio Plan of Correction
Information and Survey
Section 4640.6 of the Welfare and Institutions Code ("WIC") requires that North Los Angeles County Regional Center ("NLACRC") meet certain caseload ratios. If a regional center is unable to do so, subdivision (f) of this section requires the regional center to submit a plan of correction with input from the State Council on Developmental Disabilities, local groups that work with consumers, family members, regional center employees, labor organizations, service providers, and others.
"Caseload Ratio" means the number of consumers per Service Coordinator.
As of March 1, 2020, NLACRC did meet the following required Service Coordinator caseload ratios:
Consumers who are under three years of age;
Consumers who have moved from the developmental centers to the community since April 14, 1993, and who have lived in the community between 12 and 24 months; and
Consumers who have moved from the developmental centers to the community since April 14, 1993, and who have lived in the community within the last 12 months.
As of March 1, 2020, NLACRC did not meet the following required Service Coordinator caseload ratios, which are in gray in the chart below:
Consumers enrolled on the Home and Community-Based Services Waiver;
Consumers who have moved from the developmental centers to the community since April 14, 1993, and who have lived in the community for more than 24 months;
Consumers who have not moved from the developmental centers to the community since April 14, 1993, and who are not under the age of three nor on the Home and Community-Based Services Waiver; and
Consumers with complex needs.
WIC §4640.6(c) mandates these ratios.
A new, mandated caseload ratio requirement for individuals with complex needs. WIC §4640(c) was amended in July 2019 to require an average caseload ratio of 1:25 for individuals with complex needs.
This is the first year in which regional centers were required to report caseload ratios for individuals with complex needs as per WIC §4640(c).
The Department of Developmental Services ("DDS") recognizes the methodology used to calculate the 1:25 caseload ratio may not be accurate for individuals with complex needs. DDS will work with the Association of Regional Center Association ("ARCA") on a revised methodology.
As specified by WIC §4640.6(f), NLACRC must submit a plan of correction for the caseload ratio categories that were not met for two reporting periods in a row.
Here is why high caseload ratios are an ongoing issue:
Each regional center’s operations budgets are funded based in part on the number of consumers it serves.
A formula or "tool" is used to determine each regional center’s funding; however, regional centers are not organized the same.
The core staffing formula used to be based on state wages and expenses and has not been updated since the 1990s.
Service Coordinator wages and benefits used in the formula show that NLACRC does not receive enough funding.
NLACRC’s Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Operations budget is reduced by $5.0 million (7.9%).
$3.4 million of the $5.0 million reduction is for unallocated reductions (going back to Fiscal Year 2001-2002), which have never been restored by the State’s Legislators. An unallocated reduction is when there are laws that regional centers must meet, but we are not fully funded to do so.
For every five (5) Service Coordinator jobs at NLACRC, we only receive funds for three (3) staff.
Service Coordinator Funding
Note: The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the average annual counselor salary in California is $51,550 and nationally is $48,800
NLACRC receives funds for only 279 out of the 463 staff needed to meet caseload ratios.
NLACRC would need $12.1 million more to hire all 463 Service Coordinators to meet the caseload ratios. The 319 Service Coordinators, as of February 28, 2019, includes 17 Service Coordinators that were hired to improve caseload ratios.