Group homes in Arizona must be licensed. Each license is for a specific dwelling at a specific location. Licenses last two to three years, and they must be renewed prior to expiration.
Group Home Licensing Requirements
Arizona state laws requires anyone operating a group home for individuals with developmental disabilities to obtain a license from the Arizona Department of Health Services.
License Application Requirements
At least 30 days prior to the opening of a group home, a completed application must be submitted. Applications must include the name and contact information of the prospective licensee; the name, address and phone number of the proposed group home; group home accreditation information, if the home is accredited by an outside agency; and whether the applicant is currently providing services or intends to provide services in the future. In addition, the applicant must sign the document.
The application packet is then reviewed for completeness. If it is determined to be complete, the Arizona Department of Health Services issues a letter of completeness. Applicants with incomplete applications are notified by mail of any documents their application lacks. If the missing items are not received within 120 days, the application is considered to be withdrawn.
Title 9 Regulations
Licensees are required to comply with Arizona Administrative Code: Title 9. Title 9 covers emergency safety regulations, sanitary regulations and miscellaneous regulations as they relate to the dwelling.
Title 9 Disaster Regulations
Group homes are required to have a detailed disaster plan. They must have smoke alarms in each bedroom and adjacent hallways; and they are required to conduct disaster drills on each shift once every six months. An annual fire inspection must also be performed by the fire department. Every facility must also contain a first aid kit and fire extinguishers.
Title 9 Dwelling Regulations
Much of Title 9 focuses on the actual dwelling. The address of the home must be clearly visible from the street. The home must stay between 65 and 85 degrees, and the hot water in the home must stay between 95 and 120 degrees. There must be electrical light in each room of the dwelling, and each bedroom must contain a window or door that can be opened. Group homes must have safe plumbing and sewage lines. Garbage must be removed from the facility at least once every seven days, and the home must be free from odors, insects and rodents. There are also dwelling requirements regarding swimming pools, fences, fireplaces, wells, ramps and stairs.
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."