Group Homes

What is a Group Home

A small group home, as defined and established by the Department of Community Mental Health, is a facility for six or less residents, operated by a private, non-profit corporation. It is licensed by the Department of Social Services as an Adult Foster Care Facility. The provides well planned, interdisciplinary programs, appropriate to each resident’s age and level of functioning, so the learning of basic skills, useful work activities, and adjustment of normal life patterns will take place.

Who Owns a Group Home?

As part of a system of checks and balances, Wayne Center does not purchase and operate group homes. Therefore, private individuals are sought to purchase and operate group homes.

Who Runs a Group Home?

To operate a group home, a Board of Directors is established and an Administrator is hired. It is the administrator’s responsibility to supervise the care of the home, the staff, the services provided to the clients, as well as manage the total budget and financial matters of the home. The administrator is also required to maintain records concerning progress of each client and monthly financial reports.

What is an Adult Foster Care Facility (AFC)?

An Adult Foster Care Facility is a home for six to twenty residents licensed by the Department of Social Services and operated by the owner or a staff person secured by the owner. Once the home has been licensed by the Department of Social Services, the owner can contact with Wayne Center for client placements if the home meets Wayne Center’s AFC criteria.

What is Wayne Center's AFC Criteria? 

Wayne Center is looking for homes licensed for six or less residents that are located in areas that provide access to community services, i.e., public transportation, education, shopping areas, recreation areas, medical facilities, etc. Wayne Center is looking for homes that provide residents with secure, pleasant surroundings and a sense of community.

Who Staffs the Group Home?

To be hired, one must be over 18, have a high school education or equivalent, and be of good moral character. Experience with persons who have developmental disabilities and additional education is preferred but not required. The staff receives 120 hours of training before placement and ongoing inservice after placement.

Who Funds Group Homes? 

Funding is available from two sources. Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority funds are used for programming costs only. Monies from SSI (Social Security Supplemental Income) pay for room and board, supervision or personal care needs of the clients.  Group home owners are responsible for all major home repairs and maintenance.

Who Lives in a Group Home?

A group home comprises six or less adult residents who have a developmental disability and are over the age of eighteen. The residents placed generally have one or more of the following complicating factors, but are grouped closely by age and capability rather than degree of disability to insure the most normalizing environment possible.

  1. Behavior requiring special intervention.
  2. Physical handicaps requiring wheelchairs, walkers, and/or continued staff assistance.
  3. Legal blindness, deafness, epilepsy, or other debilitating medical complications.
  4. A lack of adaptive skills, particularly self-help skills.

What do the Residents of a Group Home Do?

The residents of a group home will go to school, sheltered workshops or special training programs each day during the week. On weekend they will do chores around the house, go shopping or just relax. Often the residents will begin to take responsibility for each other. Whatever the activity, it is appropriately planned to the person’s age and level of functioning.

People with developmental disabilities are just like everyone else. They have their own favorite activities and living in a group homes gives them the freedom to pursue their interests. Sometimes the group will take trips together or some will go home to visit their families. They may be involved in community activities, too.

Can the "MI" Population move into a Group Home for "The Developmentally Disabled Population"?

Once a home is licensed as an adult foster care facility for clients with developmental disabilities by the Department of Community Mental Health Services, no other population can be moved in with, or in place of that population. Homes are being developed specifically for the mentally ill and the prison population presently residing in institutions, and who are diagnosed as ready for a less restrictive environment.

What does a Group Home Look Like?

The group home will look like the other homes in the area; it will not be distinguishable from other houses. The character of the neighborhood will not  change either. Property values are not affected, as shown by many independent studies.Group homes may even enhance the neighborhood. They are licensed by the state and so must adhere to certain standards of upkeep and appearance.



Developmental Disability: refers to several distinct disabilities that generally occur, or are manifested, during the early stages of growth and development. The currently recognized developmental disabilities are mental retardation, autism, cerebral palsy and epilepsy.

Mental Retardation: a condition that is characterized by a below average rate of intellectual development, which in turn leads to difficulty in learning, social adjustment, and economic productivity.


      • Mild: 89% of all persons with mental retardation fall into this category. Generally, they are able to achieve independence.

      • Moderate:  6% of all persons with mental retardation are classified as moderately retarded. Usually they are able to achieve independence.

  • Severe:  (3.5% of all persons with mental retardation.)

  • Profound:  (1.5% of all persons with mental retardation.) Individuals in the severe and profound range often have additional handicaps. These people may learn to care for their basic needs.AUTISM  a rare and little understood condition which is characterized by severe problems in communication and in the ability to relate to people in a normal manner.

Cerebral Palsy: a group of conditions which limit the individual’s ability to control and coordinate muscle movement.EPILEPSY - A condition characterized by occasional periods of uncontrolled electrical impulses in the brain resulting in a temporary loss of control over certain body functions of consciousness.

Normalization: the concept of helping persons with developmental disabilities to obtain an existence as close to the normal as possible, making available to them patterns and conditions of everyday life.

Interdisciplinary Team: consists of a case manager, nurse, psychologist, speech pathologist and occupational therapist. Together, they contribute knowledge or insight they may have in the identification of needs and planning of individual programs for Wayne Center clients.

Individual Plan of Service (ISP): a written plan which identifies the specialized mental health services including resident treatment and/or training and ancillary service needs (including assistance with personal finances and third party benefits) of a resident and summarizes the habilitation and rehabilitation goals, objectives, methodology and expected outcome for specified service periods.

A Contract Agency of Integrated Care Alliance, LLC and State of Michigan
Department of Human Services
CARF Accredited in Community Services Coordination,
Child and Youth Services,
Governance Standards Applied