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Aside from Adult Foster Care, there are several housing options for vulnerable adults. Such settings include, but are not limited to:
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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
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.
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.
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.
Minnesota has designated county agents to carry out the licensing function for adult foster homes. County social services departments throughout the state are available to provide further information on adult foster care and to assist 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.