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Spectrum Institute Report Promotes Conservatorship Reform in California

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

The Spectrum Institute has released a new report focused on the conservatorship process in California. Founded in 1987, Spectrum Institute is a nonprofit that promotes respect for human diversity. Over the years, the organization has sponsored various specific projects related to its broader mission. This currently includes a Disability & Abuse Project, which is focused on addressing and reducing the physical, sexual and emotional abuse of people with developmental or intellectual disabilities.

The April 2017 report is entitled "Regional Center Conservatorship Assessments: The Need for Guidance and Oversight from the Department of Developmental Services." It outlines the statutory and contractual provisions regulating the role of regional centers in conservatorship proceedings in California. Regional centers are private nonprofits that contract with the California Department of Developmental Services (DSS) to provide or coordinate services and supports for individuals with developmental disabilities. With offices throughout the state, they offer a local resource to help people with disabilities and their families find and access the many services available to them.

Emphasizing the need for improvements, the report calls on DSS to provide the guidance and oversight necessary to ensure appropriate conservatorship assessment and reporting by regional centers. The findings and recommendations are aimed at better ensuring that people with developmental or intellectual disabilities receive access to justice in legal proceedings that may limit their rights.

The report is available at http://disabilityandabuse.org/dds.pdf

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