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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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Residental Care Frequently Asked Questions

Contact the Florida Department of Health Group Care Facilities Program

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1. I am interested in starting a group home for boys between the ages of 8 thru 13, what information would be best to help me start this business?

The Department of Health (DOH) does not issue licenses for the operation of group homes for children.  However, the DOH does conduct both food and group care/physical plant related inspections in group homes and other residential facilities. Once you begin the licensing process with the licensing agency, you should contact the local Health Department (DCHD) Environmental Health section for food hygiene, group care, drinking water supplies from a well, pool, and septic requirements/inspections/plan reviews.

The Department of Children and Families (DCF) licenses a variety of group homes and foster homes for children. To find information related to the type of facility you plan to operate, visit their regional/district office website.

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2. I want a list of residential group home facilities at which my child might be able to live and that accept SSI.

The Department of Health (DOH) is not the licensing agency for group homes.  A group home is a generic term used for a variety of care homes. These can be for children 19 years or less and licensed under the Department of Children and Families (DCF) or  the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD )  if they serve disabled clients.  Depending upon the needs of your child, you can contact the appropriate licensing agency listed below to get a listing of facilities in your area that serve your needs.

If the home serves disabled clients, contact APD.

If the facility serves children, who are not disabled and are 19 years of age or less, contact DCF.

If the facility serves elderly clients, contact Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). Their licensing office can be contact by phone at 850-412-4304.  To locate facilities regulated by the Agency for Health Care Administration, you can check out that Agency's website for facility locations.

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3. How do I file a complaint against a Florida residential treatment center? Is there an online form I can use?

If your question refers to Florida residential treatment facilities, these facilities are regulated by the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). You may file a complaint by calling (888) 419-3456, Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  You may also visit AHCA's website for more information about filing a complaint.

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4. If I start a facility that fits all state criteria, will the state find clients for the facility?

The Department of Health (DOH) is not the primary licensing agency for residential facilities nor, do I believe, are resources (clients and funding) provided to these facilities or a supply of clients provided from our department. To get information regarding resources or information on opening a residential facility, I would suggest contacting the appropriate licensing agency directly using the links I have provided below.

If the home serves disabled clients, contact APD.

If the facility serves children, who are not disabled and are 19 years of age or less, contact DCF.

If the facility serves elderly clients, contact Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). Their licensing office can be contact by phone at 850-412-4304.  To locate facilities regulated by the Agency for Health Care Administration, you can check out that Agency's website for facility locations.

County health departments inspect most residential facilities using Chapter 64E-12, Community Based Residential Facilities, Florida Administrative Code. Kitchens in the larger facilities may be inspected using Chapter 64E-11, Food Hygiene, Florida Administrative Code.  You should contact the county health department for the county in which you intend to locate your group home prior to construction, remodel and/or before opening it.

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5. We represent a company that wants to develop a senior adult substance abuse residential recovery center or residential center. What type of licensure does the facility need to have?

Substance abuse programs fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Children and Families.

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