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(6.4) How does the Individual Program Plan (IPP) process involve families?

(6.4) How does the Individual Program Plan (IPP) process involve families?

Your child’s IPP should include a “family plan component” that talks about the services and supports your child needs to stay in the family home.[1]Section 4685(c)(2). Your child can only get the services listed in their IPP. You can request an IPP meeting for your child at any time, and the meeting must take place within 30 days of your request. You can get an IPP meeting in seven days if your child’s health or safety or placement in your home is threatened.[2]Section 4646.5(b). This is sometimes called an “emergency IPP meeting.”

IPP goals are created by looking at your child’s strengths, preferences, and needs, and the needs of your whole family, and must include information from you.[3]Section 4646.5(a)(1). The IPP must have time-limited, measurable objectives under each goal. These goals and objectives should make sure your child has a chance to be part of community life.[4]Section 4646.5(a)(2). IPPs must follow the requirements of Section 4685 of the Lanterman Act, which places a high priority on children living with their families.[5]Section 4646.5(a)(3). The IPP must contain a schedule of services provided, when the services will start, and who will provide them.[6]Section 4646.5(a)(5).

At the end of the IPP meeting, the regional center must give you a list of services and supports you both agreed to in the meeting.[7]Section 4646(g) The list must say: 

  • when services may start,
  • how often you will have the services and how long they will last, and
  • the provider of services (if known). 

You would need to sign the list of agreed-upon services and supports before they start. The regional center needs to give you these either in writing or electronically. The list must also be in your native language. If you disagree with services at the IPP meeting, you can delay getting the list of supports and services until you agree. The regional center must hold another IPP meeting within 15 days (or later, if you want), to reach a final agreement. At that time, the regional center has to give you a list of supports and services in your native language.[8]4646(h)

If you do not think the IPP proposed by the regional center will enable your child to live at home, you can ask for a hearing.[9]Section 4685(c)(4). For more information on hearings, see Chapter 10.

After you sign your child’s IPP, the regional center must make sure your child gets all the services in the IPP.[10]Section 4646(g); see also Assoc. for Retarded Citizens v. DDS (1985) 38 Cal.3d 385, 390. If necessary to make sure there are no gaps in services, the state Department of Developmental Services may have to provide services.[11]Section 4648(h). If a child needs specialized services, the regional center can pay outside providers (called “vendors”). They may pay the vendors directly or give you vouchers to pay the vendors.[12]Section 4648(a)(3)-(5). Before paying for services, the regional center must make sure there are no other funding sources responsible for meeting the child’s and family’s needs. These other sources are called “generic services” and “natural supports.”[13]Sections 4646.5(a)(5) and 4659.

1 Section 4685(c)(2).
2 Section 4646.5(b).
3 Section 4646.5(a)(1).
4 Section 4646.5(a)(2).
5 Section 4646.5(a)(3).
6 Section 4646.5(a)(5).
7 Section 4646(g)
8 4646(h)
9 Section 4685(c)(4).
10 Section 4646(g); see also Assoc. for Retarded Citizens v. DDS (1985) 38 Cal.3d 385, 390.
11 Section 4648(h).
12 Section 4648(a)(3)-(5).
13 Sections 4646.5(a)(5) and 4659.