Contra Costa ARC
Some Frequently Asked Questions About Community Access Services

What kind of training do staff members receive?

Contra Costa ARC has a strong commitment to staff training.

  • "ARC University" is our intensive 10-day training program for new staff members.  It combines classroom work and on-the-job experience to give each person a solid foundation of knowledge and skill in all the essential aspects of his or her job. ARC University is also open to long-term staff members and to staff from other local agencies throughout Contra Costa County.
  • We have an annual training program for all staff that focuses on one important topic each month.  The emphasis is on Heath, Safety and Human Rights.
  • First Aid, CPR and Pro-Act courses are made available regularly for all staff members.
  • Ongoing education and training also occurs through staff meetings, interaction with supervisors and courses available through local community resources.
  • In 2008, Contra Costa ARC is introducing the nationally recognized on-line learning program "College of Direct Support" for agency staff.  This program is being made available to direct service professionals throughout California by The Arc of California.  We are proud to be participating. 

How soon can I start services?  Will I have to wait?

Contra Costa ARC makes every effort to serve all individuals who meet our entrance criteria.   We try our best to make the services available when they are needed, without delay. Usually that is possible, but sometimes a delay can occur.  It may be because a particular program has the maximum number of participants, according to our state license, or it may be due to other capacity issues.  When this happens a waiting list is established.  The Program Coordinator will stay in touch with you about your place on the list and your expected start date. 

How do I know your programs and services will meet my needs? 

Every person who participates in a Contra Costa ARC program has an individual service plan that he or she develops along with staff. Each person's goals are unique and each person has his or her own objectives along the way to reaching the goals. We know that our services are successful when these individual goals and objectives are reached.  We keep track of each individual's progress and report on it regularly.

In addition to these individual goals and objectives, there are some measures of success that our Community Access Services look at overall, combining all participants' results together.  These measures include:

  • the percentage of individual goals that are achieved
  • whether people leaving the program are maintaining their level of independence and self-sufficiency
  • how satisfied people are with the services

These factors are reviewed 4 times every year and the results are published in our Annual Report.

How much do services cost?  Will I have to pay?

Contra Costa ARC's services are provided through various government and private funding agencies.  Individuals who are eligible for these funding agencies receive the services at no charge.  Most individuals served in our programs are clients of the Regional Center of the East Bay and, according to a California law called the Lanterman Act, cannot be charged a fee for the services.

Will I have the chance to decide what services I want and what staff work with me? 

Yes.  All of Contra Costa ARC's Community Access Services strive to empower each participant to make decisions and choices about his or her services.  Participants are actively encouraged to learn about all the options available and to make informed choices among them. Choices include not only the type of services but also the people involved—the staff members and the other program participants. 

Contra Costa ARC is also committed to making sure you are satisfied with the services you are receiving.  We regularly ask you, in person and in satisfaction surveys, about how well we are doing in meeting your needs.  We will listen to your feedback and make changes when needed.   

How do I know if Contra Costa ARC's services are right for me?

We encourage every person who is interested in our services to come and visit and learn as much as possible before making a decision to participate.  We also encourage you to visit other programs in the area, learn about them and compare. It is important that you make an informed choice—the choice that is best for you, at this time in your life. 

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