What to Expect at Your First Individualized Program Plan (IPP) Meeting

Once a child is approved for Regional Center eligibility, a service coordinator will be assigned to your child’s case, and a meeting will be scheduled to develop an Individualized Program Plan (IPP).

Like an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), the IPP is a document that describes your child’s needs, goals, and objectives, as well as the services and supports your child requires to achieve those goals and objectives.

However, the IPP meeting is much less formal than an IEP meeting. While an IEP meeting will usually include parents, teachers, service providers, and a district administrator, typically an IPP meeting will just be attended by the parent(s) and the service coordinator. It is not necessary to bring anybody else with you to the IPP meeting.

However, if you prefer not to attend alone, you can always bring an advocate, a service provider, or a family member or friend who knows your child well. The meeting can be held at the Regional Center, or the service coordinator can come to your home or another place that is convenient for you.

At the meeting, you and the service coordinator will discuss your child’s needs and goals, specific concerns you may have about your child’s development, and what services you receive from other resources. You will also discuss Regional Center–funded services that may be appropriate for your child. For a young school-aged child, available services might include social skills and behavioral interventions (including ABA in some cases), copayment assistance, respite care, day care services for working parents, support groups and conferences, and diapering and medical supplies, among others.

Services provided by the Regional Center through the IPP are based on the goals and objectives you list for your child, so if you plan to request particular services, be sure that they are supported by your child’s goals. If you want to ask for behavioral and social skills supports, your child’s IPP goals should address problematic behaviors and difficulties with socialization.

You will hear the Regional Center call itself the “payer of last resort.” This means they only fund services if there is no other entity (called a “generic resource”) responsible for funding them. The Regional Center will always require you to exhaust private and community resources prior to approving funding. For children with private medical insurance, the Regional Center will require that you exhaust the insurance benefit for a service or receive a written denial. Many Regional Center consumers are also able to enroll in Medi-Cal regardless of family income. Read more about this in our article on Medi-Cal and copayment assistance.

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