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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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Group Care Facilities

Contact the Florida Department of Health Group Care Facilities Program

*Note: This page contains materials in the Portable Document Format (PDF).  The free Adobe Reader may be required to view these files.

Rule Development

Group Care Facilities Rule Revision

On July 6, 2018, a notice of Rule Development was submitted for publication in the Florida Administrative Register (FAR) for Chapter 64E-12, Florida Administrative Code, "Community Based Residential Facilities." 

You may access the proposed revision of Chapter 64E-12, Florida Administrative Code, using the following link: Chapter 64E-12, Florida Administrative Code (Draft Sample)

Questions concerning Environmental Health in residential group care facilities should be directed to the local Department of Health Office in the county the facility is located, Office of Environmental Health (click on link).  

Food Hygiene Rule Revision

Chapter 64E-11, Florida Administrative Code, "Food Hygiene" was revised and became effective September 26, 2018.

You may find the updated version using the following link: Updated Chapter 64E-11, Florida Administrative Code              

Licensing: What State Agency Licenses Residential Group Homes and Residential Facilities?

The Department of Health (DOH)  does not license various residential group care facilities. Licensing is done by one of three state agencies refered to as the primary licensing agency. The three primary licensing agencies for residential group care facilities are the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), Department of Children and Families (DCF), and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD).

 FL AHCA Logo    FL DCF Logo   



We receive many inquiries from the public who are looking for information on how to open a group home.  DOH is not a primary licensing agency and does not conduct any inspections at homes/facilities licensed by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD).  Anyone looking to open a group home needs to initially contact one of the following primary licensing agencies to obtain information on how to open or get licensed by that agency:

  1. Agency for Health Care Administration for homes/facilities serving the elderly, the disabled and mental health facilities.
  2. Department of Children and Families for homes/facilities serving children.
  3. Agency for Persons with Disabilities for homes/facilities serving only individuals with disabilities.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Disaster Preparedness

Disasters can happen at any time of the year, so to adequately prepare, the group care program recommends using the residential group care preparedness toolkit. The Group Care Preparedness Toolkit is designed as a completely customizable preparedness planning tool for any type of residential facility, but especially those serving the disabled and/or vulnerable populations. Its purpose is to assist facility owners, operators, managers and/or administrators in preparing for and responding to issues that arise as a result of a disaster or emergency. While this toolkit is designed to be as comprehensive as possible, it is not an all inclusive toolkit, but one that can be tailored to each facility by providing a one-stop resource of emergency preparedness forms, procedures, assessments and checklists.

The assessment questionnaires were created based on identified environmental and public health issues, which were recognized by various preparedness resources nationwide, as key needs from previous disaster events. Using this tool will enable a residential facility to be better prepared and better able to respond in the case of a disaster and be prepared to keep their residents and employees protected. This toolkit is not part of any regulatory standard, but is available and encouraged to be used by anyone who may benefit from it use.