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This lesson will teach you about group homes. You will learn the definition of a group home, examine the levels of care which are provided at a group home and understand the rules that impact a group home.

Definition of a Group Home

In thousands of neighborhoods across the United States, there are group homes quietly and inconspicuously blending in with the community. These homes are often established in typical residential neighborhoods and often contain the typical features of a household. However, instead of traditional families, they are comprised of a group of unrelated individuals who receive support services while residing at the house.

Many different kinds of residents can live at group homes, including those who are physically, chronically, or mentally disabled; in drug rehabilitation programs; or in alcohol rehabilitation programs. Group homes may also house children in foster care, juvenile offenders, or troubled teens. Usually, during the stay at the group home, the individuals receive support, therapy and training in order to work within the community, earn a degree, or simply maintain a stable quality of life.

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Levels of Group Homes

Group homes provide various levels of care to individuals, and every state has laws that dictate these levels. Generally, the levels are assigned a number or letter. Usually, the lower the letter or the number, the more support services are needed. When the support services are greater, the regulations are usually more substantial.

For example, in the State of Connecticut, a Level II Group Home has significant regulations. The criteria for a Level II Group Home is defined as a small, four- to six-bed, located in a neighborhood setting with intensive staffing level and services offered around the clock. Moreover, its highly structured treatment programs should provide a safe space for adolescents with complex emotional or behavioral needs. To be admitted to the group home, adolescents must have demonstrated such activities as suicidal thoughts, aggression, and vulnerability to crisis.

Hence, the support services necessary are quite extensive for the Level II Group Home. Thus, the regulations are a bit tenuous.

Rules of Group Homes

Group homes also have rules they must follow. These rules are established by state regulations. Every state is different with its laws, so it’s important to check your particular state to see what the laws are.

Again, the more substantial the services that are provided in connection with the group home, the more regulations will be imposed on the group home.For instance, if the group home will provide prescription medications to its residents, the state laws will have regulations regarding the storage and dispensing of the medication. Other regulations pertain to the number of individuals who can reside at the group home, the number of staff available for the residents or the availability of certain types of professionals, such as a physician.

Lesson Summary

Group homes are a way to encourage individuals to integrate into their communities while also working on whatever condition, disability, problem, or other concern may be occurring in their lives. Since group homes sometimes deal with difficult issues, they are subject to regulation and rules that are set by each state.

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