Alta Care Homes Questions

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Alta Care Home create home-like environment


What is an Alta care home?


Alta California Regional Center (ACRC) Care Homes are specialized residential facilities. An Alta care home is vendored (The process to be part of the Alta system, not licensed by Alta but vendored by Alta).


Alta works with the California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to provide support to individuals with developmental disabilities such as mental retardation, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and autism. Although care may be provided well into the person’s adult life, the disability must have been diagnosed before the individual reaches the age of 18.


Many of the clients of the Alta care homes are middle age and older. Some have been in the program for decades. Therefore turn over in an Alta care home is low. Numerous clients have been in a particular care home over 10 years. This is very beneficial to the client and care home owner.

Care home or multi-generational home

Alta Care Homes are in many neighborhoods


How and when did this collaboration between the DSS and Alta come about?


The Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act, also known as the “Lanterman Act,” passed in 1969. This California law basically says people with developmental disabilities and their families have a right to get the services and supports they need to live like people without disabilities.

Lanterman Act envisioned a joint venture between government and the community in search of a more humane way to help the neediest members of our society. The government would provide funds and guidance to regional centers that, in turn, would work with communities to provide solutions at a local level.

Alta California Regional Center (ACRC) is a private, non-profit corporation working under contract with the State of California, Department of Developmental Services (DSS), to provide services to persons, age three and above, with a developmental disability pursuant to the Lanterman Act.

Alta California Regional Center is one of the regional centers set up by the law.  Alta provides services to clients in a 10 county region that includes Alpine, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties.

Alta Care Home live like a family

Living like a family in an Alta care home


What are the Alta care home types?


The level of care gives that familiar description of an Alta care home. Alta 3 or Alta 4a are ways people describe Alta care homes. What they are stating is the level of care needed with in the facility.   Alta helps with the following tool to understand the levels of care, types of clients, staff ratios and other insights.


Level of Care: The State Department of Development Services has established a level of care system which promotes quality and consistency of service for consumers living in the same home. Service levels are categorized by quantity, quality, and intensity of service provision. Each residential facility is vendored at a specific service level.


Alta gives this description based upon Title 17 Regulations for ARM.  The behavioral/needs descriptions listed below are not all inclusive. A care home may only accept some of the behaviors/ needs listed or may have a “specialized” type of setting. This tool is meant only as a reference guide.


Level 2

Facility: Homelike environment / Rx Monitoring / Provides supportive program / Supervision & training / Participate in development of Individual Program Plans ( IPP’s); Avg. 1:6 Staff Ratio

Consumer: Minimal assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) / Mild behaviors (teasing, screaming, resistive) / Mild non-compliance

Level 3

Facility: L2 + Structured environment / Trained Staff / Avg 1:3 Staff Ratio

Consumer: Significant limitations to ADLs / Limitations in physical abilities / Mild to moderate SIB / Mild to moderate behaviors (aggression, running, wandering, tantrums, property destruction, resistive)

Level 4

Facility: L3+ Highly structured environment / Predictable staff intervention / Behavior Plans / Specialized Consultation / Quarterly Progress Reviews / Enriched staffing based upon Level 4A to 4I/ May have awake staff. Some homes may have a “medical” model i.e. homes designated specifically for medically fragile children. All Level 4 facilities must be prepared to have 24 hour awake staff.


Consumer: Severe limitations on ADLs / Severe Behaviors / AWOL / Severe Non-compliance

Acronyms: ADL – Activities of Daily Living; PT – Planning Team; Avg. – Average; Asst – assistance; IPP – Individual Program Plan; Rx – Prescription; SIB – Self Injurious Behavior; AWOL – Absent without leave

1031 Fountain Back

ACRC residential facilities come in many sizes


What are the qualifications for each level?


Alta helps with resource on their web site like this PDF 

Alta California Regional Center (ACRC) Qualifications

ACRC strives to interface with vendors in a productive manner that upholds our high quality standards. ACRC is seeking vendors for residential facilities who are committed to providing quality service and care to consumers. ACRC requests that interested persons apply to vendor residential facilities for which the applicant is qualified and there is an identified need.


•             Level 2 - Minimum of 6 months part-time paid experience is required (at least 20 hours per week).

•             Level 3 – Minimum of 9 months part-time paid experience is required (at least 20 hours per week).

•             Level 4 – Minimum of 12 months full-time paid experience is required (40 hours per week).

•             Title 17 Section 56002 (1) (12) (14) (15) (17) (48) defines experience as providing specialized training, treatment, direct care and supervision in a vendored residential care facility for persons with developmental disabilities.


For all service levels, applicants’ must demonstrate experience and competency in a care home of the same level or higher than the residential facility to be vendored.


Alta California Regional Center web site filled with helps and rules on becoming a service provider.

Check out all their information at


finding right neighborhood

Individuals and society benefit from Alta care homes


What are some of the property requirements?


Consideration will only be given to single story homes with a maximum licensed and regional center vendored capacity for 4 residents.

Each consumer/client shall have his or her own bedroom.

One non-ambulatory bed is required; wheelchair accessible preferred.

All Level 4 facilities must be prepared to have 24 hour awake staff.


The standard for residential facilities is to provide quality care to all consumers/clients residing in the home. It is to be a home-like environment that focuses on the needs and interests of the individual consumer. The residential facility is to provide the least restrictive environment that promotes independence while assuring the consumers’ health and safety.

Alta care home live like a family

Family living with special needs are Alta care homes


What are some of the ACRC and government requirements?


The vendorization process and operation of all ACRC residential facilities is governed by Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations.


According to Title 17 and Title 22 all Community Care Facilities must obtain a valid Community Care License (CCL) as required by Health and Safety Code, Sections 1500 through 1569.87.


The vendorization process and CCL’s process can be conducted concurrently; however, final vendorization will not occur until a valid Community Care Facility license is secured from the State Department of Social Services (DSS).


Vendors are to have a working knowledge of Title 17, Title 22, and ACRC Community Care Facility Vendorization Procedures.


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Care Homes for Sale


This is not all a person needs to operate an Alta care home. It is a simplified overview of the process. Due diligence is a must when planning to own and operate an Alta care home. Communicate with Alta; they have centers in the service area. Talk with current Alta care home owners to get their insights. Do all the research and due diligence before entering into a decision to buy and operate an Alta care home.


When you are ready to look for a property or find a current owner ready to sell please contact Coffee Real Estate. We will be happy to asset you. Our experience, insights and network can help with locating a property, finding financing and many other issues.

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