California Tribal Families Coalition has begun a new initiative that is focused on the health and wellness of our youngest tribal children population who have or are at-risk of having intellectual or developmental disabilities. In December of 2020, California Tribal Families Coalition released the Tribal Early Intervention Report which highlighted the systemic failure to provide outreach, training, early detection and intervention information to tribes and their education and child welfare programs by the California Health and Human Services.

In January 2021, CTFC and the Pala Band of Mission Indians initiated conversations with the California Department of Developmental Services regarding the findings of the Tribal Early Intervention Report and general concerns about the lack of access to early intervention services for tribal children. The California Department of Developmental Services engaged quickly in these discussions and responded by initiating a budget set aside to ensure equal access and targeted outreach to tribal children and families. This funding led to the creation of the Tribal Early Start Outreach Program, a collaboration between CTFC, the California Department of Developmental Disabilities Services, Far Northern Regional Center, San Diego Regional Center, and Kern Regional Center.

The mission of California Tribal Families Coalition Tribal Early Start Outreach Program is to ensure that Regional Centers are providing equal access and services through Early Start to the most vulnerable of our Native American children and families.

CTFC will build on this foundational work in the coming years by:

  • Continuing to create opportunities to build relationships between Regional Centers and tribal communities.
  • Bringing tribal engagement training to Regional Centers across the state – five RCs per year for the next four years.
  • Hosting the California American Indian Developmental Disabilities Symposium
  • Providing ongoing training and technical assistance to tribes in accessing early intervention and Regional Center service information to increase access.
  • Launching and maintaining a Tribal Look Up interactive webpage that shows tribal contact and service provider information by Regional Center catchment area. This tool can be used by tribes to find which Regional Center serves them, and by Regional Centers to learn which tribes are in their service territory and what services are offered by those tribes.

Click HERE to check out our Tribal/Regional Center Lookup Tool.


The Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities was enacted in 1986 under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA; 20; U.S.C., Section 1431 et seq.). This program is California’s response to federal legislation ensuring that early intervention services for infants and toddler with disabilities and their families are provided in a coordinated, family-centered system of services that are available statewide.