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"The VMRC Newsletter"

Friday, August 11, 2023

Message from the Executive Director

Tony Anderson

Caseload Ratios at VMRC

It’s that time of year again to review the status of our Valley Mountain Regional Center (VMRC) caseload ratios. Last year it was a record hiring for our regional center as we added about 75 new service coordinators in a major effort to reduce our caseloads. This was a truly historic year and because of the hard work of our program managers and human resources staff we met 100% of our hiring goal. However, the cut off date the state uses for regional centers to report their caseload ratios is March and we had not met our goal until April so we are showing noncompliant with our ratios for consumers on the waiver, not on the waiver, and for the children under 6 years old (we are in compliance with all specialized caseloads). 


We need your comments and responses to our caseload ratio report so we can incorporate your thoughts and ideas for addressing this longstanding problem in our system.

Community Feedback
Download the 2023 Caseload Ratio Report

We Missed You Last Week

We’re Back

Last week we discovered unusual activity on our network and as soon as we learned of this activity, we shut down access to everything we use that touches our network. We shut down on Thursday afternoon and scanned everything through Sunday night until we could verify the safety of each of these tools we use to serve our community. We isolated the affected system and took all possible measures to ensure our network is secure. VMRC immediately launched an internal investigation and engaged with a leading cybersecurity and digital forensics firm to assist us in our response to the incident.


The Investigation is Ongoing

We are currently in the process of determining what data may have been impacted and whether any sensitive personal information was involved. As soon as that process concludes we will formally notify those whose information may have been affected and will provide resources to assist them.


Protecting Your Confidential Information is One of Our Highest Priorities at VMRC

Our investigation is ongoing, and we will provide appropriate updates when additional information is available. Please be assured that we have done, and will continue to do, everything in our power to ensure that all data stored in our network remains protected. We are continuously assessing our data privacy and cybersecurity practices and are actively working to bolster our defenses to minimize the chances of a similar event happening again.


Finally, at this time there is no indication that any personal information has been accessed but if the cyber professionals determine anyone’s information has been compromised, they will receive notice and resources to protect their information. To learn more about protecting your information in general check out this article in the Consumer Reports in 2021.



The Director's Travels

The August 14, 2023 board communication on the director's activities...

We extended our deadline to Today, Friday, August 11th, as the last day to commit to being a sponsor for our October 7th Disability Resource Fair IF you want to be fully recognized on our event flyer, bags, and signage.

You are still welcome to be a sponsor at any level after today, however, we can't guarantee full sponsor recognition because we need to get materials to print.

Any for profit and non-profit agencies also can still register your resource table up until Friday, September 29.

See the sponsorship flyer below, or go to our Disability Resource Fair page of our website:

Our sincere thank you and appreciation for ALL who have and will continue to sponsor and attend our Disability Resource Fair....this event is possible because of you!

A Big THANK YOU to ALL that Have Already Agreed to be a Sponsor!




San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE)

Children's Choice Dental Care


Malonzo Eldercare

Lifeworks-ACS, Inc

Central Valley Adult Care Day Program

VMRC Self-Determination Advisory Committee (SDAC) Meeting (Hybrid)

Thursday, August 17, 2023, 3:30 PM

Click Here for Zoom Information

VMRC Board of Directors Meeting (Hybrid)

Wednesday, August 23, 2023, 6:00 PM

Click Here for Zoom Information

Coalition of Local Agency Service Providers (CLASP) Meeting (Members Only)

Monday, August 28, 2023, 10:00 AM

Click Here for Zoom Information

Announcing Our Provider Community's Third Professional Conference, Moving Forward


We are so excited to announce that our local provider coalition, the Coalition of Local Agency Service Providers (CLASP), has been hard at work to put together their third provider conference. This one will be called “Moving Forward” 2023 and will be their first major provider conference in three years. This is an opportunity for our provider community to come together to learn about policy issues and innovations in providing person-centered services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and their families.

The event includes one of the national thought leaders on Person-Centered Thinking, Carol Blessing of Cornell University and John Raffaele and Joe Macbeth from the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals, talking about the important role of Direct Support Professionals in connecting people with disabilities to their communities. We were also very excited to learn that one of our most popular speakers on creative approaches to person-center supports for people with complex needs, Lynn Seagle, will be one of the featured morning keynotes and our DDS Director Nancy Bargmann will cap off our morning with a lunch keynote.

CLASP does so much to support the provider community and it’s an honor to work with these leaders who have dedicated their careers to serving people with IDD and their families in our region. This conference is an excellent example of how our providers focus on continuous improvements in service delivery in our community. Special thanks to Candice Bright and Liz Herrera Knapp for their leadership in making this happen.

Conference Landing Page
Conference Registration
Sponsorship Information

Clinical Update

Dr. Claire Lazaro

Clinical Director

Family Wellness Brunch

The second Family Wellness Brunch was held on August 5, 2023, at the Modesto office of VMRC. Thank you to all who came despite the confusion due to the previous days events in the agency. There were close to 75 people, adults and children, at the event! The Family Wellness Team appreciate you all, including the attendees, the guest speakers, Michelle Rodgriguez and Jonathan Jenkins, the volunteers, childcare providers, the community partners, and vendors. You all made this possible! We look forward to seeing you all at our next brunch 3 months from now. Watch out for announcements here in the VMRC Newsletter!

Case Management Update - Adults

Christine Couch

Director of Consumer Services - Adults

Case Management Update - Children

Tara Sisemore-Hester

Director of Consumer Services - Children

Early Start Institute

Early Start Online Fall Session

is now open for registration!

·   Content grounded in the comprehensive, evidence-based core curriculum you've come to expect from Early Start personnel development activities

·   Interactive learning facilitated by parent-professional facilitator teams

·   Narrated slide presentations

·   Video stories from Early Start families and professionals

·   Online group interactions

·   Assignments that generate discussion and deepen learning 

Fall Session Course Offerings:

·   Foundations: Understanding Systems, Processes, and Practices

·   Foundations: Working Through the IFSP Process

·   Foundations: Partnering for Effective Service Delivery

·   Skill Base: Facilitating Communication Development

·   Skill Base: Facilitating Social and Emotional Development

·   Skill Base: Facilitating Sensory Processing Development

·   Skill Base: Cognitive Development

·   Skill Base: Adaptive Development

Registration Closes: September 1 (or sooner, if courses are full) 

·   Courses Open: September 11th

·   Courses Close: November 17th

·   To register, simply Login or Sign Up, then choose courses from your Early Start Online homepage

"As a new service coordinator, it was crucial to learn the content of this course."

"The course was very informative. I learned a lot about how to write relevant outcomes. It was useful information."

"I learned a lot with this course. The information regarding transition, IFSP outcomes, and the quality assurance process was very helpful."


Spring 2023 Early Start Online participant

Early Start personnel development is funded by lead agency California Department of Developmental Services in collaboration with the California Department of Education under the leadership and administration of the California Early Intervention Technical Assistance Network (CEITAN) at WestEd.

Vivian Weinstein Leadership Day

Looking Forward: Strengthening the Well-Being of Families and Young Children

Monday, October 16, 2023

9:00am - 4:30pm

The California Endowment

1000 Alameda Street

Los Angeles, CA 90012


In-Person Event

Three Keynote Speakers

Lunch Included

Keynote Speakers

Cultivating a New Story for Resiliency in Early Intervention: A Powerful Exploration of Meaningful Support, Knowledge, Skills, and Insights

with Senta V. Greene, MA, CCLS and Kathleen Van Antwerp, ED.D 


To honor, uplift, and walk forward with children and families, we must also honor, uplift and walk in our awareness, capacity, and self-care as a formidable workforce. This session is a beautiful invitation to recognize, explore, and ignite insights and relevant actions for transformative change that authentically supports strengthening children, families, and the legacy of our collective work in early intervention.


More information on the topic and speakers bio's HERE

Pathways to Building Children’s Resilience and Promoting Joyful, Lifelong Relationships

with Mona Delahooke, PhD


Research in affective neuroscience continues to confirm that relationships are the bedrock of mental and emotional health. In this keynote, Dr. Delahooke will describe how relationships build resilience, flexibility, and grit, and importantly, what parents and caregivers can do to support it in their infants and young children. 


More information on the topic and speakers bio HERE


You may purchase signed hardback copies of Mona Delahooke’s book Brain-Body Parenting: How to Stop Managing Behavior and Start Raising Joyful, Resilient Kids through IDA. Books will not be sold on the day of the event.

Through Vivian’s Eyes: Supporting Maternal Well-Being Then and Now – A Cautionary Call to Action with Marie Kanne Poulsen, PhD Professor of Clinical Pediatrics Keck School of Medicine, USC


In the 1980’s when the media demonized ‘crack mothers’ as selfish, uncaring & neglectful of their ‘no hope’ babies, Vivian was a major proponent of a Call to Action espousing that mothers loved their babies and the service system needed to proactively support maternal well-being and mother-infant engagement. In the 2020’s there is a critical need for another Call to Action to ensure quality engagement stemming from the social-emotional well-being of our Part C mothers. 


More information on the topic and speakers bio HERE

Updates on California Early Start

with Maricris Acon, Deputy Director, Federal Programs – Children, Adolescents, and Young Adult Services Division, California Department of Developmental Services


Maricris Acon is the Deputy Director of the Federal Programs Division at the Department of Developmental Services. She brings professional and personal experience to this position as a policy professional and a mother of a child with disabilities.  


More on speakers bio HERE

Non-Member: $195

IDA Agency/Individual Member: $150

IDA Parent/Student/New Clinician Member: $100



IDA CE Hours: Nursing, PT, Speech and Language $60 (6 hours)


CDI CE Hours: LCSW, LMFT, LEP, LPCC (you will be invoiced)


ADA Requests: Contact IDA @

with ADA request by Sept 21, 2023


To read about Vivian Weinstein click here

Thank you to our Sponsor

UC Davis MIND Institute LAAMB Study

We are excited to share this opportunity for participant recruitment in the Learning about Autism and ADHD Markers in Babies (LAAMB) Study. They are seeking babies and toddlers who are currently 6 to 9 months old who have an older sibling with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), an older sibling or parent with ADD/ADHD, or a typically developing older sibling. 

For additional information please visit LAAMB Study ( or StudyPages - Come learn about your baby’s development!

Sensory Friendly Movies

Regal Cinemas provides sensory friendly movie experiences at their Stockton City Center Theater for the first showing of new films on select Saturdays. For more information including upcoming showings and dates, please visit the website.

Community Services Update


Brian Bennett, Director of Community Services

Social Recreation Opportunity

Made possible by a Grant from the Department of Developmental Services

VMRC has Two Opportunities for Residential Service Provider CPP/ CRDP Grants!

·        Adult Enhanced Behavior Support Home (EBSH) for females in Stanislaus County


·        Adult Community Crisis Home (CCH) (to be in any VMRC county of service)


For the full application, please contact Brian L. Bennett

A proposal application conference will be held Tuesday August 22nd from 2:30-3:45 using Microsoft Teams. If you are interested in attending the conference, please contact Brian for the link!

VMRC recognizes efforts of J Ballelos Community Integration Program to give back, by volunteering at Stockton/ San Joaquin County Emergency Food Bank with US Congressman Josh Harder (9th District, CA) 

The DEI Corner


Mark Crear, DEI Manger

VMRC recognizes and celebrates all the great contributions that the indigenous people have contributed to this world, Country and our Community. We proudly stand with you in solidarity and support. VMRC is a place where everybody belongs… that included the indigenous people of our community. 


The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples takes place annually on 9 August to celebrate Indigenous Peoples and their knowledge. The day aims to draw attention to the cultures and struggles of Indigenous Peoples around the world and highlight the global movement for Indigenous rights.


Indigenous people make up about 5 percent of the world’s population. Interestingly, there is an estimate of 370 million indigenous people living across 90 countries. Unfortunately, this group of people also make up at least 15 percent of the poorest people on earth.


FYI: Indigenous Peoples are distinct social and cultural groups that share collective ancestral ties to the lands and natural resources where they live, occupy or from which they have been displaced.


We encourage you to observe this day by deepening your understanding of Indigenous issues around the world, listening to Indigenous voices, and reflecting on the vital achievements and contributions that Indigenous Peoples make to the world, including how their leadership and stewardship creates a more sustainable and healthier world for us all.


This year’s theme will focus on, ‘Indigenous Youth as Agents of Change for Self-determination’.


Like within the IDD community, Indigenous Peoples have an equal right to govern themselves, equal to all other Peoples. Indigenous youth are playing an active role in exercising their right to self-determination, as their future depends on the decisions that are made today. Their representation and participation in global efforts towards climate change mitigation, peacebuilding and digital cooperation are crucial for the effective implementation of the right of Indigenous Peoples to self-determination, and to their enjoyment of collective and individual human rights, the promotion of peaceful co-existence, and ensuring equality of all.


How to Observe International Day Of The World Indigenous Peoples

There are several things to do on International Day of the World’s Indigenous People. Attending an indigenous community event in your area is a great way to celebrate.


North Valley Hills Update

   Dena Hernandez, Regional Manager (209) 473-6930

Stay Connected with SCDD- Join our mailing list today!


The Council is your go to source for information to help keep you and your family informed.


California Parent Organizations


Center for Parent Information & Resources


Community Resources & Public Benefits

·   English document link

·   Spanish document link


Individual Education Program (IEP) Strategy Guide

·   English document link

·   Spanish document link


Special Education Resources


Special Education Rights and Responsibilities (SERR) Manual


Requesting Compensatory Education Services After Distance Learning

·   English document link

Spanish document link



Active Shooter Guide for People with Disabilities

·   English document link

·   Spanish document link


Back-to-School Mental Health Resources



·   English document link

·   Spanish document link


Bullying & Hate-Motivated Behavior Prevention


California immunization laws and required vaccinations for student TK – 12th Grade


For help finding a place to get needed immunizations: Local Health Department Immunization Program Contact Information


COVID-19 Resources


Medi-Cal Health Coverage for Children:

Children may enroll in Medi-Cal year-round, and immigration status does not matter. Medi-Cal provides free or low-cost pediatric services, including dental, vision, and behavioral health care, to children in need from families with limited income and resources. Individuals may apply for Medi-Cal in person, by mail, by phone, or online.


For more information please visit, Ways to Apply for Medi-Cal:


Monkey Pox Resources

·   SCDD English document link

·   SCDD Spanish document link



Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Resources

Follow the Council on social media to keep up to date on statewide and regional events. 

Hyperlinked information is subject to change.

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