How to Start a Youth Group Home in Georgia

Children can benefit from living in a youth group home in Georgia. Owners can choose to work with foster children, juvenile delinquents or developmentally disabled children. The aim and objectives of the home need to be providing a firm establishment. The main profit gained from this type of home is not monetary. The greatest reward in starting a youth group home in Georgia is helping children build self-esteem and confidence. Children gain these attributes when they learn and grow in a stable environment.

Children can benefit from living in a youth group home in Georgia. Owners can choose to work with foster children, juvenile delinquents or developmentally disabled children. The aim and objectives of the home need to be providing a firm establishment. The main profit gained from this type of home is not monetary. The greatest reward in starting a youth group home in Georgia is helping children build self-esteem and confidence. Children gain these attributes when they learn and grow in a stable environment.

Talk with governmental agencies to find local areas of Georgia that have the greatest need for a youth group home. Obtain information about zoning laws and permits in the area and find an appropriate size home by obtaining a rental agreement, mortgage contract or deed. Decide on the demographics of the children you will enroll, by choosing a level of care from two through five, as outlined by the Minimum Standards for Level of Care Providers from the Georgia Association of Homes and Services for Children.

Talk with the nearest government agency to discuss guidelines for living arrangements for boys and girls. Discuss issues regarding appropriate age range guidelines. Ask for information regarding limitations of caring for a child. Obtain specific data concerning the limitations and guidelines for caring for children with developmental disabilities or other special needs, if you decide to work with them. Write down the smallest number of children you will enroll to get you acclimated to starting a youth group home in Georgia. Write down the age range of children you are willing to enroll.

Get prepared to obtain nonprofit status and licensing, by developing the articles of incorporation and bylaws for the youth group home in Georgia. Develop policies including those for personnel, admission and discharge, program records, financial records and policies for discipline. Purchase a copy of the level of care standards as outlined by the Georgia Association of Homes and Services for Children. Create a business plan for the youth group home in Georgia, based on the appropriate level of care group for which you have chosen to provide services.

Obtain a licensure application package from the Office of Regulatory Services of Georgia and pay any necessary fees. Submit the application with details on which level of care services you plan to provide. Include floor plans and site plans with the licensure application. Get proof of your approved plans. Submit the previously approved plans to the appropriate state and local agency, including the local building department, fire department, Georgia health department and/or zoning department for approval, as well.

Develop and submit a copy of your operations plan to the Office of Regulatory Services in Georgia, as outlined in the Residential Child Care Institution Operation and Site Plan Checklist. Prepare the youth group home for compliance and regulatory inspections, by conducting a self-study. Hire staff and volunteers. Ensure that all staff, volunteers and company executives have the appropriate required training to work with children with the level of care you have chosen. Ensure that all personnel and executives have taken CPR and first-aid training. Obtain any other governmental approval if necessary. Get background checks for all personnel and executives, as outlined by the Georgia Department of Human Resources Criminal Records Background Check Instructions for Child Care Institutions.

Obtain proof of training and criminal records checks from all staff, volunteers, executives and owners. Keep all proof of records and training in the office of your youth group home in Georgia. Complete everything on the list of the Residential Child Caring Institution Operation and Site Plan Checklist. Submit a Readiness Statement to the Georgia Office of Regulatory Services with any necessary attached documents as outlined by the Georgia Association of Homes and Services for Children and the Office of Regulatory Services.

Obtain an inspection and approval of the youth group home in Georgia. Receive an official copy of proof to begin operation. Contact the Provider Support Unit to receive any approved vendor status. Obtain 501(c)(3) status from the IRS for your Georgia youth group home. Obtain funding from local authorities, large businesses and grant resources based on your 501(c)(3) status. Obtain furniture, transportation and the appropriate level of insurance. Enroll children at the appropriate level of care for which you have been approved to provide services for in your youth group home in Georgia.

Tips

  • Continue to offer training and development for staff and volunteers based on the needs of the children in your youth group home in Georgia. Offer community interaction within the home by offering youth group games.

Warnings

  • Always keep the appropriate level of insurance for your youth group home in Georgia, which covers the dwelling, residents, staff and visitors. This will help you be prepared for emergencies or disaster in the future. Never go outside of your scope of services when giving care for the children. If an emergency arises, always call 911 and document any incidents.

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About the Author

Leah Logan was born in East Palo Alto, Calif., and currently resides in Austin, Texas. She is an international author, certified diversity consultant and the founder and president of The Purple Heart Institute, a consulting and coaching business for self-esteem, transition, recovery and empowerment.