Best Practices: Living Options


This document describes Harbor Regional Center’s expectations and aspirations for licensed homes. It reflects what clients, family members, regional center staff, and service providers have told us a good home should be like. We look forward to working in partnership with our homes in the coming years to help them move their services steadily closer to these expectations and aspirations.

These guidelines are based on the principle of client self-determination. This means that people with disabilities make their own reasonable choices about how they live their lives, and these choices are respected by people around them.

The goal of all licensed homes is to help clients become as independent as possible and achieve the objectives they choose for themselves. Client choice guides services as long as these choices do not pose a threat to the client’s health or safety or infringe on the rights of others.


• The licensed home’s mission statement promotes respect for people with disabilities and participation of people with disabilities in the community.

• Licensed home staff is aware of the mission statement and can explain how the mission statement affects what they do with clients.

The Client’s Support Network

• The client is helped to develop a reliable network of natural supports, including family, friends, and other people in the community.

• Clients and their families are encouraged to maintain contact with one another.

• A non-conserved adult gives his or her consent before staff communicates with his family about his or her life.

• Staff may develop ways for the family to be involved in the client’s life, if it is deserved by both the client and family.

• Staff educates the community about people with developmental disabilities in order to increase community awareness and acceptance.

• Staff involves clients in activities that increase their interactions with people in the community.

• If a client is going through a major change at home, at work or in the day program, staff works with the regional center counselor and other people in the client’s support system to help the client deal with the change.

Staff-Client Interactions

• Staff uses positive approaches in all interactions.

• Staff treats the client with respect.

• Staff is familiar with the client’s likes and dislikes, goals and dreams.

• Staff is familiar with what outcome each client is working on to achieve in the home.

• A member of the staff attends the client’s annual regional center planning meeting and the annual ISP (for clients attending day activities) or IEP (for clients in school).

• Staff is familiar with what medications clients are taking, what the medications are for, and their side effects.

• Staff is required to be able to speak and understand English.

• Client and staff members communicate using the client’s preferred language and method of communication