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What the Heck is an ELARC?!!

So maybe you came here looking for the "East London Association of Rugby Clubs." You're in the wrong place! Or, maybe you spotted one of our™ bumper stickers, or spotted one of our parents sporting their™ shirt. And you're wondering "what the heck is an ELARC?!!"

The Eastern Los Angeles Regional Center (ELARC) is a quasi-governmental agency that provides services for persons with developmental disabilities who live in a certain geographic area. Almost.

When we say "quasi-governmental," what we mean is that the ELARC is a private, nonprofit corporation that has received a contract from the State of California's Department of Developmental Services.

When we say "provides services," what we mean is that the ELARC purchases services from private vendors. It is actually those vendors who provide the actual service.

When we say "certain geographic area," what we mean is that the State of California has decreed that there should be twenty-one such Regional Centers, and that each Regional Center should provide for the needs of qualified persons in a specific geographic area. The ELARC provides services in an area of, well, Eastern Los Angeles!/P>

The purpose of each Regional Center is to identify qualified developmentally delayed persons in their area, establish the needs of those persons, purchase services to meet those needs, assure that those services do, in fact, meet those needs and, in general, protect the rights and interests of their clients.

Many of you reading this page, particularly those of you who reside outside of the United States, are thinking "well, isn't that the job of government ministries or bureaus?" The answer to that question is "yes," but this is the United States where "private enterprise" is supposed to be the key to making government services work "for the people." So, just like the privatization of the Postal Service, the privatization of the health care system, even, in some areas, the privatization of the prison system, the State of California has cobbled together this Regional Center system in an effort to privatize this sector of the social services system. For those of you not familiar with the social services system in California, we should mention that other sectors of the social services system are not (as yet) privatized.

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