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Adult Foster Homes

Adult Foster Homes (also known as Adult Care Home or Family Care Homes) are private residences that provide a home-like setting and serve 5 or less residents. The caregivers may perform several functions such as personal care, housekeeping and activities and group meals. There are three levels of Adult Foster Home licenses. The classification system is based on the level of care the Adult Foster Home may provide to residents who live in the home as well as the experience and training of the providers and their ability to assist residents with: personal hygiene, mobility, eating, dressing, and toileting and behavior management. Residents may require very light assistance or may dependent with several care needs.

Rates for a room at an Adult Foster Home are generally quoted for the room plus meals, housekeeping and laundry. Individual care needs are assessed prior to the resident moving in to the home and are an extra charge.

Adult Foster Homes are surveyed by the state annually and records about discrepancies and/or substantiated complaints are available to the public both in the DHS office and on line.

We recommend touring several homes prior to making decisions about moving a loved one.


Facility and Grounds:

  • Are they clean, comfortable, and convenient for residents?
  • Are they safe and in good repair?
  • Is the ventilation, heating/cooling and lighting comfortable?
  • Is there opportunity for privacy?
  • Are there odors?

The Residents:

  • Are they involved in activities and are there interesting things to see and do?
  • What is mealtime like? Is wholesome and nourishing food served? Is a menu posted? Is it home cooked? Do residents interact during meals?
  • Is the atmosphere relaxed?
  • How are medications stored, given and recorded?
  • Is there give and take between residents and provider throughout the day?
  • Is the provider respectful and considerate of the prospective resident?
  • Does the provider speak directly to the prospective resident, make eye contact, and take time to listen? Does he/she talk down to resident, use appropriate intonation at appropriate volume?

Others in the Home:

  • Are there children in the home? What age? If so, how do they interact with the residents?
  • Are there pets in the home? Are they loud, intrusive? Do they spend time with residents?
  • Other adults?
  • How do the residents relate to other people and each other?

READ CAREFULLY the items POSTED in the Entryway

The House Policies:

  • What are the policies on diets, alcohol, tobacco, pets, and visiting hours?
  • Are the policies flexible enough to accommodate your special needs and preferences?

The Residents’ Bill of Rights:

This is part of the State Rules for Foster Homes. Know what your family member’s rights are. They should be explained to you and to your family member.

State Survey Results
Did they have a discrepancy free survey?

Spend time talking to the provider, ask questions, ask to meet the other residents and staff.

  • If you are paying privately, review the Private Pay Admission Agreement carefully. Ask questions, and get legal advice if necessary. Be sure you understand the basic rate per month, what is covered and what is not, what additional charges there might be and what will trigger increases.
  • Note: All providers will charge 15 days after the resident passes. Verify in writing on the contract if that 15 days is room only or room and care.
  • If you are receiving State assistance (Medicaid), be sure you understand the resident’s monthly payment to the provider, and the state’s payment. The total payment is determined by the Case Managers assessment. A provider cannot request or accept additional payment from a resident or family. If you have questions contact the local Case Manager.
  • Does the provider have a Medicaid Contract? If resident’s personal finances are depleted, can the resident remain in the home with Medicaid reimbursement?
  • Ask provider to supply references, call to verify
  • To review the required posted information items and your questions with you. (The license, inspection forms, Residents’ Bill of Rights, Ombudsman & Division phone numbers)
  • Is the classification of this home adequate to meet the specific needs of your family member? (I.e. personal care, oxygen, special diet, shots, transportation, etc.) A license is classified 1, 2 or 3 depending on the qualifications of the Provider and Resident Manager, if there is one.
    • Class (Level) 1 provides care to residents who need “assistance” in up to four ADLs
    • Class (Level) 2: Provides care to residents who may need “assistance” in all ADLs and be “dependent” in no more than three ADLs
    • Class (Level 3): A resident who needs assistance with Provides care to residents who are “dependent” in four or more ADLs
  • ADLs (Activities of Daily Life include Eating/Nutrition, Bathing/Personal Hygiene, Toileting, Dressing/Grooming, Mobility/Transfer, Cognition/Behavior Management
    • Independent: resident can perform the ADL without help
    • Assistance: resident is able to help with an ADL but cannot do it entirely alone
    • Dependent: resident is unable to do any part of an ADL; it must be done entirely by someone else
  • How is the home staffed? Who provides daily care? What back¬ground and experience do CAREGIVERS bring to the job? Is regular time off provided for staff?
  • How is night time care managed? Is there a caregiver awake at night? How do they know if the resident needs assistance at night? If a resident gets up at night will there be extra changes?
  • Is there an on-going plan for such things as music, outings, exercise, therapy, sharing in house¬hold activities, holidays, etc.?
  • Does the provider feel your family member will fit in? Can the provider provide the care that is needed?
  • When will the provider let you know their decision on admitting this new resident?

How do you feel about this adult foster home? How does your family feel about it? Involve the prospective resident in the final decision as much as possible.


We suggest you consider three or more adult foster homes in this way, if possible, before you make a final selection.

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