A group home is a type of care facility that provides foster care for minors. It typically consists of at least one adult, whose role is to serve as foster parent for at least six children. The foster parent provides day-to-day care for the children, while legal custody remains with the state (usually through child protective services or other agencies). Group care homes are one of the main forms of foster care, along with kinship care.
Many group homes are small and are often linked to religious groups, charities, or other non-profit community organizations.
There is no defined time period for how long group care home can last. The most common way for group home care to end is by the child “aging out.” This typically happens at the age of majority, when the minor becomes an adult. Group home care does not automatically end at the time however; usually there is a process for transferring the minor out of the care home and into adult life. The age of majority can vary from state to state, but it is usually 18 years old.
Group home care can also end through adoption. This can occur if a person outside the care home chooses to adopt the child (or children). Here, custody of the child is transferred from the state to the adopting parent. In many instances, the adopting parent is a relative of the child. Some children are placed in a care home with the understanding that they will eventually be adopted in the future.
Lastly, group home care can continue indefinitely throughout the child’s life, sometimes lasting well into adulthood. This can happen for people who have disabilities or special needs. In such cases, the person is usually transferred to an adult care home when they become of age.
There are various legal considerations that go into running a group home. First, foster parents and personnel at a group home must meet all requirements for becoming a foster parent, including:
- At least 21
- No felony records
- Properly trained
- Steady income source
The physical building must meet all health care and zoning code requirements, especially for care involving disability access. There are also various state and federal laws that help to ensure that children in a foster group home are cared for properly and receive the type of provisions and resource that they need.
Other issues that may be involved in a group home prevention of juvenile crime and delinquency. Many group homes have programs and activities that help the child participate in their local communities. Lastly, some laws such as the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 have provisions which help fund state foster care programs. These programs are often aimed at helping children transition out of group home life as they transition into adult life outside of the facilities.
Group homes can be very beneficial in terms of providing foster care for children. They often involve many different state and federal laws and much interaction with state agents. You may need to hire a family law attorney in your area if you need assistance operating a group home, or if you have any legal issues involving a child in a group home. Your attorney can help research the laws and inform you of your rights and obligations regarding group homes. Also, if you need to file any documents, or if you need to appear in family court, your lawyer can provide guidance and representation for you at those times.