How to open a group home in California

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There are several agencies involved in the oversight of group homes in California. In order to open a group home, you will have to obtain a license for your specific type of home and then obtain residents through a placement agency. The requirements for the level of services you must provide, as well as the rate of pay, vary depending on the population you decide to serve.

How to Open a Group Home in California

Contact your local Regional Center. There are 21 Regional Centers, operating 40 offices throughout California. Request to speak with the person in charge of "Vendorization," and ask them what their current needs are for Residential Care.

Attend a "Residential Services Training" through your Regional Center. These trainings are offered for a small fee at various times depending on the Regional Center.

Develop a "program design" that shows how you could meet and fill the current needs of your local Regional Center. Consider requesting a sample program design from your local Regional Center.

Attend an orientation at Community Care Licensing (CCL) for either Adult Care, Child Care or Elderly Care.

Apply for a license. The requirements for obtaining a license will vary depending on the population you choose to serve. The license will only be valid for a specific operating location, clientele and number of residents.

Apply for "Vendorization" through your local Regional Center. Once vendorized, request placement packets for new residents that might be appropriate for your program.

Accept your first client from the placement packets and proudly open your Group Home.

Tips

  • Carefully consider the pros and cons of opening a group home. Remember, you will be providing total care for 1 or more individuals, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Be flexible. Even though you may have always wanted to open a home for the elderly, your local Regional Center may only need homes for children. See if you would be able to meet their present need. The services that the Regional Center needs the most will likely have large incentives, including higher monthly rates per resident and possible grant money to aid in the development of the program. Also consider operating below capacity for a period of one to three months while transitioning yourself, your staff and your new clients to the home.

Warnings

  • Group Homes provide continual care for clients. You must be prepared for many long days, late nights and holidays. Higher levels of care, while paying more per resident, will provide many difficult behavioral challenges, including aggression, elopement, self injurious behaviors, or other maladaptive behavior. Make sure you are comfortable dealing with these types of situations prior to accepting high-level residents into your home.

References

About the Author

Michael Elkins is the administrator for an adult group home in Stockton, Calif. He was been writing stories, journals, essays and articles since 1998. He is the recipient of the Sylvia Lopez-Medina award for short fiction and has also published his work in the literary magazine "Penumbra."

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