Thesis

Organizational Design in the Regional Center

Regional centers have a contract with the state of California Department of Developmental Services to coordinate services for people with developmental disabilities beginning at three years old. Service coordinators working within the Lanterman Act have a caseload of 65-100 or more consumers eligible for regional center services. Service coordinators must balance administrative tasks, ever changing consumer goals, community influence, family dynamics, vendor issues and changing laws. Currently, organizational design varies across all regional centers, however, there should be divisions based on specific ages to increase efficiency and promote staff specialties. Current organizational designs at certain regional centers that serve consumers of all ages add to the burden of heavy workloads for service coordinators. This graduate project will focus on comparisons between regional centers' division of age groups for case management. The focal point will be on organizational design, division of labor and specialty, and effectiveness. An evaluation of the program will help answer the question: What organizational design would ease workloads of service coordinators? It is hypothesized that changing the organizational design of the regional center system will increase efficient management of service coordinators caseload. Using a Logic Model to describe two regional center programs, an evaluation of two regional centers inputs and outputs will be completed. Logic model analysis is expected to show differences in the outputs between the regional center in support of the hypothesis. It is essential to answer the question as it affects services for people with developmental disabilities through access to the regional center and service coordinators who must manage their caseloads by providing needed resources. Future research should be conducted to further verify the results of the Logic Model analysis.

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