Self Determination

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Next Informational Meeting on the Self Determination Program

January 23, 2020
6:00 - 8:00 pm
Harbor Regional Center
21231 Hawthorne Blvd

Torrance, CA 90503
Room A1 & 2

Come and learn about the Self Determination Program, how to participate, and the roles and responsibilities of the client, family, regional center, financial management service, and other members of the self determination support team. If you believe you may be interested in putting your name on the list for selection to join this program, you must attend an informational meeting offered by the regional center or other community agency.

Sessions will be held in both English and Spanish.

To register for this session, contact or call Raquel at 310 543-0696. Interpretation in languages other than Spanish is available by advance request by 01/17/20.

Date Extension for SDP Orientation/ Background Checks: Nov. 2019 Update

DDS advised the community recently that people selected on October 1, 2018 to participate in the Self-Determination Program (SDP) must complete an orientation by November 15, 2019. That date has been exented to December 6, 2019.

Certain providers of services and supports must obtain a criminal background check in order to provide services for consumers in the Self-Determination Program [Welfare and Institutions (W&I) Code §4685.8(w)]. The following individuals are required to obtain a criminal background check:
• Providers who provide direct personal care services (assistance with dressing, grooming, bathing or personal hygiene services); and,
• Any other provider of services for whom a criminal background check is requested by a participant or the participant’s financial management service.
The participant’s financial management service provider will assist applicable service providers in this process by directing them to appropriate locations where fingerprints can be taken. As a reminder, the cost for fingerprinting is the responsibility of the service provider.

Department of Developmental Services (DDS) Update October, 2019

On October 1, 2018, 2,500 individuals (statewide) were selected to participate in the self-determination program (SDP). Since that time, approximately 450 of these clients have decided not to continue in SDP. Additionally, approximately 500 clients (statewide) have not yet completed an orientation which provides information clients need as they begin their self-determination journey.

For clients selected on October 1, 2018, orientations must be completed by November 15, 2019, unless there are extenuating circumstances that prevent this from occurring. Clients who do not complete an orientation by this date will not be able to continue with the SDP at this time, but may choose to be considered for selection and/or enroll in the future.

With clients not continuing in SDP, this presents an opportunity for others interested in SDP. The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) will select additional participants to replace those who are not continuing with SDP. More details about the additional participation selection, including the date of the selection, will be announced soon. Please send any questions to

The Financial Management Service (FMS) Contact List for the Self-Determination Program can be viewed at the link below:

What is the Self-Determination Program?

In October of 2013, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed into law the Self-Determination Program, which will provide regional center clients and their families with a new option. As authorized in Welfare and Institutions Code, Section 4685.8, "the Self-Determination Program (SDP) is a voluntary delivery system consisting of a mix of services and supports, selected and directed by a participant through person-centered planning, in order to meet the objectives in his or her Individual Program Plan (IPP). Self-determination services and supports are designed to assist the participant to achieve personally defined outcomes in community settings that promote inclusion," and allow participants to have more control in developing service plans and selecting service providers.

Watch video

Department of Developmental Services Self Determination Newsletter Issues are posted on the DDS website on a regular basis. If you want to be notified of updates, please email to be added to their emailing list.

The Principles of Self-Determination include:

  • Freedom to exercise the same rights as all citizens; to establish, with freely chosen supports, family and friends, where they want to live, with whom they want to live, how their time will be occupied, and who supports them;
  • Authority to control a budget in order to purchase services and supports of their choosing;
  • Support, including the ability to arrange resources and personnel, which will allow flexibility to live in the community of their choice;
  • Responsibility, which includes the opportunity to take responsibility for making decisions in their own lives and accept a valued role in their community, and
  • Confirmation, in making decisions in their own lives by designing and operating the service that they rely on.

The Development of the SDP Program in California

The law required that before this program could be made available, the Department of Developmental Services submit an application for federal funding, and that this application be approved for funding by the federal government. This application was approved on June 6, 2018.
The program will be implemented gradually. The SDP will be implemented for up to 2,500 participants in the state, to be phased in during the first three years.
Initial Group of Participants Selected
On October 1, 2018, the Department of Developmental Services identified the first group of clients/families from each regional center that may be enrolled in the Self Determination Program.
You Can Still Add Your Name As Interested in Being Selected
The Department will continue to collect and add names of those interested in the program for subsequent selections.
Interested clients/families must attend an informational meeting provided by a regional center or community-based organization (such as the Autism Society) and submit your name for consideration at that meeting.
Informational meetings will be announced on this webpage and in the HRC ENews.

Those who attended an informational meeting and submitted their name, but were not selected initially to participate, will remain on the list for subsequent selections along with new sign-ups. All names on the list have equal chance of being selected, regardless of when you signed up, when the Department of Developmental Services draws the next group of names. The Department does select names according to the overall demographic make up of each regional center area.
After the three year phase-in period is completed, the program will be available to all interested clients.

Frequently Asked Questions about Self-Determination Program
The Department of Developmental Services provides answers and periodic updates on their webpage for Frequently Asked Questions.
Where can you obtain the latest information?

  • Self Determination Enrollment Information and flow chart in multiple languages
  • You may refer to the Self-Determination Program information page on the Department of Developmental Services website
  • Sign up for email newsletter updates from the Department of Developmental Services by sending an email to and ask to be included on the update notification list.
  • If after reading the general information and Frequently Asked Questions on this page and the DDS webpage, you still have questions, you may submit those questions to
  • HRC will provide more information to our clients and families on this website as it becomes available.
  • You may sign up to receive email updates regarding local planning by sending an email to with your name, client's name if different, email address, and note that you wish to be added to the Self-Determination Program information email list.