The following are services and supports provided by Westside Regional Center (WRC). Individuals may be eligible for services based upon need related to the nature of the qualifying developmental disability as identified and agreed to by the interdisciplinary planning team. This is not a complete listing. Other needs identified by assessment may identify other services. Services must be requested through the Individual Program Plan (IPP) process. Please contact your service coordinator to discuss access to services.
Generic resources, private resources and/or natural supports must be explored prior to WRC funding.
WRC has a crisis response team to support individuals who are experiencing serious emotional or behavioral concerns. We recommend exploring on-going support and wellness checks before concerns escalate.
Parents and caregivers can receive periodic assistance with the constant care and supervision of individuals receiving WRC services to relieve family stress or cope with family emergencies.
These classes are for parents and caregivers to learn techniques for developing and implementing positive behavior strategies. Classes may be offered at WRC.
Behavior Intervention Services***
Services are provided by specialists who offer training and instruction to assist families, individuals, and caregivers in developing positive strategies and techniques to manage behaviors. For those families with private insurance and Medi-Cal Managed Care, funding of behavior services will be based on current state/federal laws and regulations (see service coordinator for further funding details).
Behavior Intervention Co-Pay, Co-Insurance, and Deductibles
If you or your family member receives behavior intervention funded by insurance, WRC is able to assist with insurance co-payments, co-insurance, and deductibles should your family meet income requirements (Welfare & Institutions Code 4659.1).
These time-limited classes help to improve interpersonal skills, social interactions and pragmatic language.
Individuals can participate in programs suited to their needs and preferences, such as improving independent living skills, vocational training, volunteering, performing arts and technology.
Individuals can get help with job coaching, supported employment, or customized employment based on individual needs. We also often refer individuals to the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) for additional support.
Internship & Apprenticeship Programs
Internships provide on-the job training and education in regular work settings. Individuals can explore different careers, build a resume, and develop employment readiness and workplace social skills. Paid opportunities are available.
Tailored & Individualized Services
Tailored services offer individuals opportunities to choose and customize day services to explore post-secondary education, employment or volunteer activities. Individualized services offer options for those with extensive support needs, requiring greater behavioral or medical/personal assistance.
Post-Secondary Education & Employment Readiness
WRC partners with post-secondary programs and supports to assist individuals with continuing education, employment readiness and career matching. This may include assistance in obtaining vocational certification, a degree or specialized training in a job field.
Independent Living Services (ILS)
Adults can receive training in independent living skills in areas such as shopping, cooking, budgeting, housekeeping, and self-care. Services may be funded for individuals living outside of the family home or when specific and time-measured independent living goals are included in the Individual Program Plan.
Supported Living Services (SLS)
SLS is an individualized service that provides staff to assist and train individuals living on their own in all aspects of their lives. SLS is required to provide 24 hour a day emergency assistance in addition to on-going supports. Individuals are eligible for SLS as long as they have the funds for rent, food and utilities.
WRC has options for licensed residential homes that provide specialized care and staffing depending on the individual’s needs.
Family Home Agencies (FHAs)
Family Home Agencies (FHAs) provide an option to live with a family. Individuals can move into the home of a certified family with supports. Certified families receive ongoing training and supports to include an individual as a member of their “family.”
Some individuals require assistance with daily living activities such as bathing, dressing, and meal preparation. WRC can offer these supports through Personal Assistance services.
Peer Mentor Services
WRC offers adults “peer-to-peer” training through the Peer Mentor Agency. Peer mentors are trained and employed to offer mobility training and independent living support to other individuals receiving WRC services.
The Lotus Project is a trauma and recovery program serving both women and men with developmental disabilities who are victims of abuse and violence. Services are also available to those at risk of victimization and focus on sexual health and safety.
WRC offers various transportation choices:
For adults who wish to travel independently within the community, mobility training may be available to help clients use public transportation safely. Individuals able to use public transportation may request funding for the cost of bus passes.
WRC may fund commercial transportation to and from the primary, regularly scheduled daytime activity for individuals who exited the school system. It must be determined that there is no other source of transportation via generic public services or natural, paid or unpaid, resource systems.
Driver’s training may also be an option for individuals receiving WRC supports who pass a written driving test and have access to an insured vehicle. The individual or his/her family will be responsible for the first 25 hours of classes. WRC may assist with funding of additional hours.
Parenting Skills and Support
For individuals receiving WRC services who are parents, Specialized Parenting Skills agencies offer trained staff to provide support and on-going training for new parents or parents-to-be with information on pregnancy, delivery and care for a baby.
Referrals can be made to assist individuals with securing supplies available through Medi-Cal, private insurance or through WRC funding when no other generic source is available.
Families can access medically necessary equipment through referrals to Medi-Cal, Medicare, private insurance, or other generic sources. WRC, as payer of last resort, may also provide funding for equipment needs as determined through consultation with WRC specialists.
Written Translations and Interpretations
WRC offers written translation services for Individual Program Plans (IPPs) when the family’s primary language is not English. Interpretation services for IPP or service planning/review meetings are also available.
Referrals to community agencies, events and other generic resources are also available through your Service Coordinator and the Westside Family Resource and Empowerment Center.
***Please note that current legislation and regulation may require families to access their private insurance or managed care plan within Medi-Cal to obtain funding for these services. Your service coordinator will inform you about this process and will provide support as needed to obtain these insurance/managed care benefits.
Resources for Parents & Family Members
Understanding the Diagnosis: A Guide for Families
Developmental disabilities are a group of conditions due to an impairment in physical, learning, language, or behavior areas. These conditions begin during the developmental period, may impact day-to-day functioning, and usually last throughout a person’s lifetime.
Receiving a diagnosis of a developmental disability comes with a lot of information, paperwork, appointments, changes, and feelings. You may have many questions regarding developmental disabilities. As you look for answers, you will encounter information about the various conditions, their causes, and possible treatments. All of this information may make it challenging to organize options and begin to choose a treatment plan that best fits your family.
It is natural to want to identify the single root cause of the diagnosis. Many families may battle with feelings of guilt and/or shame. Please understand that these diagnoses are complex and there may not be a single factor that has been identified as the cause. Know that families and caregivers can be strong advocates and have high expectations of a person/family member with the disability.
Westside Regional Center anticipates supporting you and your family as you proceed from the initial diagnosis to ongoing support services. You are not alone in this process. For additional information about diagnosis, you may contact your service coordinator, WRC’s Staff Psychologist, Kaely Shilakes, Psy.D at 310-258-4157, or click on the following documents below:
Westside Family Resource and Empowerment Center (WFREC) staff are experienced parents and family members of individuals with special needs who are trained to provide emotional and informational support to families who have a child or young adult with a disability, chronic illness or other special health care needs. WFREC also provides information and support for professionals and teachers working with people who have disabilities and offer a variety of support groups, trainings, community resources and referrals to valuable generic resources. For more information, please call (310) 258-4063 or visit www.wfrec.org.
Self-advocacy groups strive to empower individuals to become active and influential members of their communities, as well as agents of change concerning their rights and wishes. At self-advocacy meetings, personal rights are discussed and individuals have an opportunity to share their experiences and concerns. Group members learn from each other and gain confidence to stand up for themselves. There are several active self-advocacy groups in the WRC area. Meetings offer a great opportunity for members to make new friends and maintain lasting friendships. Attendance at self-advocacy meetings is encouraged for all individuals served by WRC. Click here for more information.
PMLCA Healthy Lifestyle Change Program
The Healthy Lifestyle Change program is a service for Peer Mentor Lifestyle Coach Agency. The Healthy Lifestyle Change Program is a peer mentoring venture which was established to identify and support adults with disabilities who are at risk for or who have a diagnosis of Type II diabetes as well as supporting people who wish to develop a more healthful lifestyle. The groups meet at the Westside Regional Center located in Culver City. Peer Mentors, fitness and nutrition facilitators support people to incorporate exercise and good nutrition education into their daily routines.
Name of Group
Day/ Meeting Time
Healthy Lifestyle Change
Fitness & yoga
Every Tuesday and Thursday of the week 2:00-4:00pm
Healthy Cooking & Eating Class
Nutrition and cooking demonstration
Every Wednesday of the week 3:30-5:00pm
Networking and Life Skills Group
Who comes to this fun group? Anyone who wants to be social and have fun!
May I bring a friend? Of course! Bring a friend and you will also make friends at the group.
Is there food? YES! We have tasty refreshments.
How much does it cost to go? It’s FREE! That’s right, FREE!
What if I’m looking for a roommate? Attend a “Networking” meeting and one of the peer mentors can assist you.
Name of Group
Day/ Meeting Time
Networking and Life Skills Group
Fun Activities, Yummy Snacks, Get Social – Hang out with your Friends and Meet new ones. Participate in Interactive Presentations
2nd Thursday & 3rd Wednesday of each month 4:30-6:30pm
Education Support Services (ESS)
ESS supports school-age clients (3 years – 22 years) with special needs in their pursuit of a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in their communities. ESS can review IEP documents and assessment reports, attend IEP meetings and/or observe the student in their school setting. Parents may contact ESS directly or referrals to ESS may be made through their WRC Service Coordinator or other professional.
The ESS staff provides information and strategies to assist parents to become stronger advocates at their Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting with their school district. English and Spanish speaking families are welcomed! Call the Westside Family Resource and Empowerment Center at (310) 258-4063 to RSVP. Limited childcare is available.
Meeting Times: 1st Thursday of each month from 6:30PM – 8:30PM at WRC
Annual Transition from High School to Adulthood Saturday Series
This Saturday Series is for parents/ guardians and transition age students (ages 14-22) who are preparing for life after high school. You’ll hear from experts, professionals and partner agencies regarding transition support, postsecondary education and training, employment, medical and mental health services, regional center services and supports for adults, information on community resources and more!
Contact your Service Coordinator or the Community Education and Training Specialist at (310) 258-4209 to find out when the next one takes place.
Westside Regional Center (WRC) sponsors trainings, conferences, workshops and events for parents, individuals we serve, service providers and other professionals within our community. The “Training and Events” bulletin is published in advance, on a bi-monthly basis and is available in English and Spanish. Printed copies are available in the reception area, the Family Resource and Empowerment Center or by clicking here.
Trainings and Conferences: In the Community
WRC encourages individuals with disabilities and family members to be empowered and informed through participation in trainings and conferences offered within the special needs community.
WRC may fund for tuition or conference registration fees up to a maximum of $300 for trainings and/or conferences per year. For adults receiving WRC services, funding may include lodging and/or transportation costs when authorized. Funding for parents or caregivers does not cover the cost of lodging or transportation. Check with your service coordinator or the WFREC to inquire about training and conference opportunities.
This section of the WRC website contains helpful publications, videos and website links to services in the community that cover topics such as: