About this Guide

Purpose of the Guide

The hard-copy version of this guide is designed to be small enough to carry in your pocket or bag. The online version of the guide provides the same information, accessible via your computer, smartphone or other web-enabled device.

The goal is to provide information about the most useful and important requirements that apply to residential care facilities for the elderly. We believe this information will be useful to an ombudsman whenever monitoring facilities and investigating complaints of alleged abuse, neglect or mistreatment of residents.

Specific citations are listed alongside the facility requirements. These can be used to educate facility administration and to substantiate findings on investigative documentation. Referencing California regulations and codes strengthens and validates incident descriptions.

Codes Referenced in this Guide

  • Unless noted, numerical citations refer to Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations.
  • “H&S” refers to the California Health and Safety Code.
  • “W&I” cites the California Welfare and Institutions Code.
  • For brevity, we have summarized some of the regulatory citations. Tips on locating the complete statutory codes and related regulations are found on the back inside cover of this guide.


OSNC extends a special thank-you to Donna Pearson, legal counsel Brian Lawlor, Legal Services of Northern California, and Hester Bryant, Ombudsman Program Manager, OSLTCO, for their assistance in editing this 4th edition of the RCFE Regulation Reference Guide.  Assistance was also provided by Managers Joan S. Parks and Clifton Wilson of Ombudsman Services of Northern California. This guide is intended to strengthen the Ombudsman’s advocacy efforts as they promote residents’ rights and seek quality of life, through problem identification and resolution on behalf of residents in residential care facilities.


This guide is funded, in part, by the Area Agencies on Aging, 2, 4 & 28.


All copies of this material must acknowledge Ombudsman Services of Northern California

A project of Legal Services of Northern California

www.osnc.net             www.lsnc.net

Summer 2012

4th Edition