In October 2019, YAI was selected by the San Andreas Regional Center to open a START program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and co-occurring mental health needs. Because YAI had successfully offered services under the START model in New York City, our California program grew quickly, expanding to Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz counties and soon, to the catchment area of the Regional Center of the East Bay.

YAI received subsequent awards to provide residential services to children and adults with intensive needs via the Enhanced Behavioral Supports Home and Community Crisis Home models. These are being developed throughout the state in collaboration with the Regional Centers of the East Bay, San Diego, San Andreas, Valley Mountain, and West Side. In all three of these modalities, YAI's person-centered philosophy and strengths-based approach sustains considerable promise to provide high-quality support throughout California.

What's happening in California. 

Five New Residences to House Children With I/DD

house with trees on either side and blue sky. how is located in California“All kids need a family around them,” said Jeffrey Darling, YAI’s California Project Manager. When a child in the foster care system has an intellectual or developmental disability (I/DD), a family placement may not be ideal to meet complex behavioral or mental health needs. But because California regulations do not permit foster kids to live in licensed group homes, the state had to devise a solution.   

Partnering with the State’s Department of Developmental Services, YAI is about to open five new residential facilities in Northern and Southern California designed expressly for young people with I/DD and behavioral or mental health challenges who are in the foster care system or whose families are unable to meet their needs.

“In response to the closure of all state operated institutions, California has innovated new services and YAI is proud to implement a smart new model with supports that meet kids where they are.” Darling said. 

YAI first opened its doors in California in 2019 when it was selected to operate a START program for the San Andreas Regional Center south of San Jose. The agency currently serves 120 adults in California with I/DD and co-occurring behavioral health needs. 

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