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News: 02/01/2015

New blog will keep you informed on SDC future



A new blog has been published to help those concerned about the future of the Sonoma Developmental Center (SDC) stay in touch with current developments. The blog is published by the Sonoma Land Trust, a lead partner of several Sonoma County and Sonoma Valley groups concerned with what will happen to the patients and property of the venerable institution that is facing closure by the state which owns and operates the facility.

The SDC Coalition, called together by First District Supervisor Susan Gorin, consists of Audubon Canyon Ranch, the Center for Collaborative Policy, the Parent Hospital Association, Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, Sonoma County Regional Parks Department, the Sonoma Ecology Center, the Sonoma Land Trust, Sonoma Mountain Preservation Group, and the Valley of the Moon Natural History Association.

The “Transform SDC” project seeks to ensure that the undeveloped property — nearly a thousand acres — goes to “an organization that provides permanent protection for parkland, open space, integrated watershed and wildlife corridor conservation, and management purposes.”

The Department of Developmental Services, a division of the California Department of Public Health, has operated up to six large campuses dedicated to the care of people with developmental and other disabilities for over a century. In a sea change of policy considerations, the state has begun to close its large care facilities in favor of smaller, privately operated homes, citing reduced patient care costs and improved care at the smaller agencies. The SDC is the fourth Center to face closure since this process began more than 20 years ago.

While there has been no official SDC closure announcement, every indication is available that a profound transformation is in the wind, including the formation of a task force to determine the best disposition of the patients and properties of the SDC, refusing to take more patients, and accelerating the removal of existing clients to the private care facilities.

You can subscribe to the blog, which publishes articles and other information about the SDC issues, at transformsdc.wordpress.com.



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