Thesis

Impacts of social policy on the developmentally disabled population in California

Governments at all levels are tasked with meeting the needs of the vulnerable and at-risk populations in society. This research project will examine the network responsible for meeting the needs of the developmentally disabled population in California. California has a very complex service delivery system, or intersectoral network, that spans across sectors, including the public, non-profit, and private sectors. Scholars agree that the complexities involved within networks may impact the goal of meeting objectives; however, there is a limited understanding of how the complexities within the intersectoral network impact the goal of meeting objectives for the developmentally disabled population in California. This project aims to explore stakeholder perceptions, within one of California's 21 Regional Center catchment areas, of how the service delivery system may have an impact on meeting the objectives of the clients served. This project will utilize a qualitative study to explore stakeholder perceptions utilizing semi-structured interviews with purposeful sampling. The main purpose of this project is to uncover possible barriers for the intersectoral network and inform state and local policy makers. This knowledge may result in generating positive change within the system and improving the quality of services to clients.

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