Group Home (and Foster Home)

In 1968, there were approximately 700. In 1999 that number had grown 240%. Who knows how many now? The Federal Government under the Social Security act, and they are very evasive about answering the question. These group homes are paid for out of Social Security Tax monies.

A group home is a privately own house that has been approved to accommodate a group of people. The group home could be for troubled teens or people who are disabled.


Residents of group homes usually have either a chronic mental disorder or physical disability that prevents them from living independently. They need continual assistance in order to complete daily tasks, such as taking medication or bathing. Some residents may also have behavioral problems that require supervision because they may be dangerous to themselves or others.[2] Prior to the 1970s, this function was served by institutions, asylums, poorhouses, and orphanages.

People who live in such a group home may be developmentally disabled, recovering from alcohol or drug addiction, abused or neglected youths, youths with behavioral or emotional problems, and/or youths with criminal records. A group home differs from a halfway house in that it is not restricted to recovering addicts or convicted criminals, and residents are usually encouraged or required to take an active role in the maintenance of the household, such as performing chores or helping to manage a budget.

Residents may have their own room or share rooms, and share facilities such as laundry, bathroom, kitchen and common living areas. The opening of group homes in neighborhoods is occasionally opposed by residents, who fear that it will lead to a rise in crime and/or a drop in property values.[3]

A group home can also refer to family homes in which children and youth of the foster care system are placed until foster families are found for them.[4][5] Group homes for children provide an alternative to traditional foster care. Unrelated children live in a home-like setting with either a set of house parents or a rotating staff of trained caregivers. Specialized therapeutic or treatment group homes are available to meet the needs of children with emotional and behavioral difficulties.[6]

Perhaps the largest group of group homes falls under the heading of residential care homes for seniors. Group homes for seniors are designed for seniors who cannot live on their own due to physical disabilities.[7] Group homes for seniors might also be found under Residential Care Home, Residential Care Facility for the Elderly, or Assisted Living Facility.

Civil rights [edit]

In most countries, people can still vote and attend university while in a group home. Internet usage in group homes, however, is severely limited. Each person is allowed one hour a day to use the communal desktop computer (if one exists); this time counts regardless of the purpose of the visit (e-mail, social networking, research). Trips to public libraries may vary depending on the distance from the group home to the library. While 93% of the Canadian population has easy access to a public library,[8] it is uncertain about the percentage of Canadian group home residents that actually have unrestricted access to a public library in lieu of watching television.

Employment opportunities, where available, are encouraged for group home residents unless they have a criminal record, mental disability, mental illness or feel disinclined from seeking gainful employment.

Cost of group homes [edit]

Residential care homes, run by the government, need not be low cost and/or low quality as many might initially guess. More expensive residential care homes now exist to offer a family style, high quality, care option to the next class of senior care which is Assisted Living Facilities. These homes are based on increasing need for assistance and decreasing independence. There are various levels of residential care homes for seniors, “Independent Living“, “Assisted Living With no Assistance” (the most common use of “assisted living” involves little or no assistance, living at home with minimal amounts of home care), “Assisted Living with Assistance”, and “Assisted Living – Memory Care”. Memory care is for those dealing with memory loss, dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease.[9]


What is the purpose of this foster care service?

The primary purpose of Foster Care service is to provide a safe temporary placement for children who can not remain safely in the home of their parent(s). The children are in the custody of the Department of Social Services by court order.

The goal of foster care is to implement a plan for permanency for each child. The plan is intended to last through the child/youth’s adulthood and with the child out of foster care, agency custody, and state oversight. If the child cannot be returned home to the parents, another permanent planned living arrangement is made. Permanency plans, with priority from the most to the least permanent by federal law are:

  • Reunification with parents;
  • Adoption (by a relative or non-relative),
  • Guardianship/custody (with a relative or non-relative),
  • Relative placement in foster care (with a relative who      has a long term, secure commitment to the child)
  • Another planned permanent living arrangement in foster      care.

Permanency plans are developed by conducting a comprehensive family assessment and providing services to enhance the capacity of parents to care for their children. Services that address the educational, mental and physical well-being of the children are provided or arranged for foster children.



Mentally disorders from institutions to group homes

Group homes for troubled teens

Community life for people with disabilities




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