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The CA START San Andreas team was certified by the National Center for START Services (NCSS) on June 28.

In order to be a certified START program, the team must be trained, participate in data collection and reporting, and effectively employ the methods of the START model.

The program provides prevention and intervention services to people with I/DD and complex behavioral health needs through crisis planning and response, education, consultation, and coaching. Certification allows the team to operate with more autonomy and less oversight from NCSS moving forward. It recognizes that the program meets the benchmark to deliver START services in the region.

NCSS provides in-person and web-based support in the form of training, technical assistance, planning, and case consultation with the aim of providing support to all START programs.

Program certification occurs during planned visits by NCSS when a program has completed all the initial training and is fully operating.

Group of 14 people gather around a screen projecting a zoom call.
CA START San Andreas team after they received national certification over Zoom on June 28.
Kneeling (left to right): Akhila Mathew, Edie Ye, Megan Hernandez, Candice Ohata, Alex Roth, Demetria Quijada, Jeffrey Darling
Standing to the right: Fawni Tornel, Denise Hart, Emilio Barajas, Dylan Alto
Standing to the left: Cheryl Karran, Jill Hinton, Anne LaForce

The San Andreas program has been fully operating for almost three years and was recognized in the Clinical Team Plus category, which is a program certified in both clinical team services and therapeutic supports to either adults, children, or lifespan (age 6 and up).

CA START San Andreas was the first program developed in California by YAI. It started in a WeWork office and has grown to over 15 staff supporting more than 100 people with I/DD and co-occurring mental/behavioral health issues. The program began by supporting people in Santa Clara County with an office in San Jose and has since expanded to San Benito, Santa Cruz, and Monterey counties with an additional office in Watsonville.

Currently there are four YAI-operated START programs in California and five in development.

"NCSS certification is a true testament to the cohesion and seamless support provided by our team to people with I/DD and their families,” said Cheryl Karran, Regional Director of YAI California Services. "For CA START to have this additional distinction is no surprise. But it is a point of pride that our program meets START's rigorous expectations." 

Congratulations to Dylan Alto, Program Director, for his leadership and to the entire San Andreas team.