Adult Foster Care Guidelines

What is "Family" Adult Foster Care Vs. "Corporate" Adult Foster Care?

A "family' foster home is the personal residence of the license-holder. A "corporate" foster home is a home where the license-holder does not reside, and where staff are hired to care for the residents. In both cases, licensing standards are essentially the same.

What Type of People Are Placed in Adult Foster Homes?

Individuals placed in adult foster homes have varying diagnoses, and in fact may have a combination of diagnoses. Foster homes can serve individuals who are developmentally disabled, mentally ill, physically disabled, elderly and sometimes persons who are chemically dependent (if they have maintained a significant period of sobriety). These individuals must have a social worker/case manager involved in their lives who will assess the need for placement, structure the terms of placement, and follow-up to determine if the placement is suitable.

What Services Do Adult Foster Homes Offer?

In addition to room and board, an adult foster home provides services as stipulated in the Individual Resident Placement Agreement. Overnight supervision is perhaps the most critical feature of adult foster care, which distinguishes it from other residential settings in the community. Depending on the vulnerable adult's particular needs, other negotiable services typically include the following: medication administration or monitoring; assistance with activities of daily living, prompts for personal hygiene, assistance with managing cash resources, arranging for medical appointments, transportation, meal preparation, shared dining, etc. Adult foster care licensers and case managers carefully match residents with providers whose skills and/or willingness to provide various services are in keeping with the resident's needs.

How Does Payment Work for Adult Foster Care Placements?

The State of Minnesota legislates that rates paid for adult foster care through Group Residential Housing (GRH) funds must not exceed the rate paid by an individual not receiving a GRH rate. Essentially, no individual placed in adult foster care (whether public or private pay) can pay less than the State-established base rate, also known as "room-and-board." The actual reimbursement for the care of a resident is set on a case-by-case situation (in family homes), or facility costs (in corporate homes). Some individuals pay privately, if their assets do not allow them to qualify for public funding. More commonly, residents qualify for public funding-at least in part. Some residents receive multiple sources of public funding which supports their placement (i.e. GRH, SSI, Social Security Survivor's Benefits, RSDI, etc.). Some residents have employment income or other assets that are evaluated in order to determine whether they qualify for public funding, or whether they must either "spend-down" or contribute partial payment from these other sources of income/assets.

Some residents also qualify for "waivered services" funding under the federal Medicaid program. Examples of such waivers include: Home-and-Community-Based Waivers for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (HCBW), Community Alternatives for Disabled Individuals (CADI) Waiver, Elderly Waiver (EW), Alternative Care (AC) Waiver, and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Waiver. Waivered services funding pays for services to the individual resident.

What Other Placement Options Exist for Vulnerable Adults?

Aside from Adult Foster Care, there are several other housing options for vulnerable adults. Such settings include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Board and Lodge: room-and-board (with meals); some facilities offer 24-hour staffing and services-others do not
  • Board and Care: room-and-board (with meals); some medical services provided
  • Assisted Living Settings: with meals, homemaker and/or personal care services available
  • Apartment Training Programs: specialized housing and services for persons with different disabilities
  • Semi-Independent Living Services (SILS) Programs: apartment programs for developmentally disabled individuals; individuals who reside in these settings tend to be higher functioning than those who reside in adult foster homes

Who Should You Contact for More Information on Adult Foster Care, or to Refer Someone for Placement in an Adult Foster Home?

The State of Minnesota has designated county agents to carry out the licensing function for Adult Foster Homes. County social service departments throughout the State therefore are available to provide you with further information on Adult Foster Care and to assist you in finding an appropriate placement setting. County licensers are aware that the array of placement options available for vulnerable adults can be confusing and overwhelming. For that reason, licensers are available to help you sort through the options. Now that you are aware of Adult Foster Care and its diversity of services, which are tailored to individual needs, you will view it as an excellent placement alternative for vulnerable adults. We look forward to hearing from you!