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Foster Care Program: Adult Foster Care

Adult Foster Care FAQs

What is Adult Foster Care?
Adult Foster Care is defined as a home setting in the community for adults who are unable to live independently due to physical, emotional, developmental or mental health impairments.  The home can provide up to 24 hour supervision for 1 to 4 residents (5 if caring for elderly residents).  Residents receive meals, support, supervision and some assistance with personal care and living skills as needed.  Adult Foster Care homes are licensed by the State of Minnesota under Rule 203 and 245A. 

What types of Adult Foster Care are there?

  • Traditional—The foster care provider lives in the residence and is the primary caregiver to clients in the home.
  • Corporate—The foster care home is operated by a corporation with shift staff delivering services to clients.
  • Shelter—The foster care home accepts clients on an emergency short term basis for up to 30 days.

*Please note that there is currently a moratorium on the development of new corporate adult foster care homes in Minnesota.

What are the licensing requirements for Adult Foster Care?
The applicant must meet the minimum licensing standards that include:

  • The home must be in Goodhue County and meet the fire safety code
  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • All household members 13 years old and over must pass a criminal and social service background check
  • Provide 3 positive references from non-relatives
  • Have bedroom space for each resident
  • Complete a home study with the licensor
  • Meet annual training requirements

What is the application process?
If you have decided to provide traditional Adult Foster Care:

  • Contact the licensing worker at 651-385-3232
  • Orientation and Vulnerable Adult Act training must be completed
  • Complete the licensing application packet
  • Fire inspection
  • Home study
  • Recommendation to DHS for licensing
  • DHS makes the final licensing decision

The application process generally takes 4 months to 6 months. 

How are providers paid?

  • Traditional providers receive a monthly minimum room and board payment set by the State.  A Difficult of Care (DOC) rating may be set based on the required level of care.  The payment is usually a combination of the client’s pension, Social Security income, Social Security Disability, and Group Residential Housing (GRH) funds.  Residents who have the financial resources to pay can negotiate a fee with the provider.
  • Corporate providers must first respond to a Request for a Proposal and go through the County selection process.  If selected, a representative of the corporation must meet with a county contract manager to negotiate a contract.

What kind of clients will I get?
The licensing worker cannot guarantee that you will get clients or how many you will get.  You must market your home and be flexible in the type of clients you are willing to service.  You decide what type of clients you take.  Clients requiring these services may have mental health, physical, developmental issues, or be elderly.

What is the role of the licensor?
The licensor ensures that all aspects of stated and county licensing mandates and policies are followed; that the home is physically and emotionally safe for the clients; that providers are kept apprised of changes in licensing mandates and policies; encourage attendance at training; and support the provider’s role of providing a safe and supportive environment. 

What types of supports are available to Adult Foster Care Providers? 

  • Training opportunities
  • Providers are eligible for free Foster Care Liability Insurance offered by the State of Minnesota through the Minnesota Joint Underwriters Association
  • Many residents have a case manager who assists with the implementation of a specific care plan

What are the training requirements for foster care providers?

  • Each Adult Foster Care provider is expected to attend 12 hours of training in each of the first 5 years of operation. 
  • Foster Care providers licensed over 5 years are required to attend at least 6 hours of training a year. 

Am I responsibly for residents’ medical bills?
No. The foster care rate covers room and board, three nutritious meals and snacks daily and supervision.  Medical and dental costs are covered through medical assistance or other insurance of the resident. 


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