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California Code, Welfare and Institutions Code - WIC § 5671

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The following should be the programs in the community residential treatment system. These programs should be designed to provide, at every level, alternatives to institutional settings.

(a) A program for a short-term crisis residential alternative to hospitalization for individuals experiencing an acute episode or crisis requiring temporary removal from their home environment. The program should be available for admissions 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The primary focus of this program should be on reduction of the crisis, on stabilization, and on a diagnostic assessment of the person's existing support system, including recommendations for referrals upon discharge.

The services in the program should include, but not be limited to, provision for direct family work, connections to prevocational and vocational programs, and development of a support system, including income and treatment referrals. This program should be designed for persons who would otherwise be referred to an inpatient unit, either locally or in the state hospital. This program should place an emphasis on stabilization and appropriate referral for further treatment or support services, or both.

(b) A long-term residential treatment program, with a full day treatment component as a part of the program, for persons who may require intensive support for as long as two or three years. This program should be designed to provide a rehabilitation program for the so-called “chronic” patient who needs long-term support in order to develop independent living skills. The clients in this program should be those who would otherwise be living marginally in the community with little or no service support, and who would return many times to the hospital for treatment. It should also serve those who are referred to, and maintained in, state hospitals or nursing homes because they require long-term, intensive support. This program should go beyond maintenance to provide an active rehabilitation focus for these individuals.

The services in this program should include, but not be limited to, intensive diagnostic work, including learning disability assessment, full day treatment program with an active prevocational and vocational component, special education services, outreach to develop linkages with the general social service system, and counseling to aid clients in developing the skills to move toward a less structured setting.

(c) A transitional residential program designed for persons who are able to take part in programs in the general community, but who, without the support of counseling, as well as the therapeutic community, would be at risk of returning to the hospital. This program may employ a variety of staffing patterns and should be for persons who may be expected to move toward a more independent living setting within approximately three months to one year. The clients should be expected to play a major role in the functioning of the household, and shall be encouraged to accept increasing levels of responsibility, both in the residential community, and in the community as a whole. Residents should be required to be involved in daytime activities outside of the house which are relevant to their personal goals and conducive to their achieving more self-sufficiency.

The services in this program should include, but are not limited to, counseling and ongoing assessment, development of support systems in the community, a day program which encourages interaction between clients and the community-at-large, and an activity program that encourages socialization and utilization of general community resources.

(d) A program for semisupervised, independent, but structured living arrangement for persons who do not need the intensive support of the other system programs, but who, without some support and structure, are at risk to return to a condition requiring hospitalization. The individual apartments or houses should be shared by three to five persons. These small cooperative housing units should function as independent households with direct linkages to staff support in case of emergencies, as well as for regular assessment and evaluation meetings. Individuals may use satellite housing as a transition to independent living, or may remain in this setting indefinitely in order to avoid the need for more intensive settings.

This program should be for persons who only need minimum support in order to live in the community. These individuals may require rent subsidy, as well as the backup of another system, in order to remain in this setting. The satellite units should be as normative as the general living arrangements in the communities in which they are developed.

(e) A program to provide emergency housing or respite care services, or both. These services should be designed for persons with a mental disability in need of temporary housing, but who do not require hospitalization or the more intensive support and treatment of the crisis residential program. Services provided should include, but not be limited to, advocacy, counseling, and linkages to community mental health and other human services, including referrals to vocational and housing opportunities.

(f) A day rehabilitation program which should be designed to provide structured education, training, and support services to promote the development of independent living skills and community support. Services provided should include, but not be limited to, peer support, education services, prevocational and employment services, recreational and social activities, service brokerage and advocacy, orientation to community resources, training in independent living skills, health education including medication education, individual and group counseling, education and counseling services for family members, and crisis intervention.

(g) The program for socialization centers should be designed to serve a broad range of clients, including those in the system programs, when appropriate, as well as persons living in the community in general. This program should be designed to provide regular daytime, evening, and weekend activities for persons who require long-term, structured support, but who do not receive such services in their living setting. Although the socialization center is meant to provide a maintenance support program for those individuals who only wish or require regular socialization opportunities, the programs should also provide the opportunity to develop the skills to move toward more independent functioning.

The services in this program should include, but not be limited to, outings, recreational activities, cultural events, linkages to community resources, as well as prevocational counseling, life skills training, and other rehabilitation efforts. This program should be for persons who would lose contact with a social or treatment system, or both, if left to their isolated living situation, or their ability to participate in activities for the “general public.” With this level of support, persons would be able to lead full and active lives, with the opportunity to develop the skills to move toward independent living. Also included in the program should be adult education support programs which utilize community college and other adult education agencies. These services would provide opportunities to individuals throughout the community residential treatment system and in other living settings, including independent living, to develop skills necessary for independent living through the utilization of resources available to the general population.

(h) An in-home treatment program designed as an alternative to out-of-home placement for individuals who are otherwise not appropriate for, or do not choose to participate in, other elements of the community residential treatment system. This program should be designed for those individuals who would benefit most from a treatment intervention in their home environment. It is a basic premise of this element that treatment should focus on the development of family and other personal and community supports, rather than exclusively on the individual. The goal of the program should be to reintegrate the individual with the family unit, when appropriate, and with the greater community without removing the person from his or her home environment.

The service may be designed as a crisis intervention for persons experiencing an acute episode or an ongoing independent living service, or both, for persons wishing to obtain or maintain housing and services in the community. Services provided should include, but not be limited to, crisis intervention, family work, when appropriate, development of a specific treatment plan, development of an ongoing rehabilitation plan utilizing available resources in the community, and coordination with such services as case management, vocational rehabilitation, schools and other education services, and various special programs which would act as a support system for the individual.

(i) A volunteer-based companion program designed to encourage the development of personal relationships with residents of community care facilities with the goal of motivating and assisting residents to make a successful transition to independent living, or to programs of the community residential treatment system.

The service should be provided primarily by volunteers, including students as a part of a college or university curriculum, who are supervised and coordinated by trained and experienced personnel. Services provided should include, but not be limited to, recreation, one-to-one companionship, advocacy, and assistance in developing the knowledge and use of community resources, including housing and vocational services, and follow up for persons who make the transition to independent living.

Cite this article: - California Code, Welfare and Institutions Code - WIC § 5671 - last updated January 01, 2023 |

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