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What Are the Best Tips for Starting a Group Home?

Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen

Starting a group home typically involves raising capital, getting permission to establish the group home, and adequately staffing the facility with needed employees. In addition, after the group home is established, its operators must find clients. In some areas, starting a group home is complex process, as there are several legal and regulatory hoops through which its operators must jump. As such, it is a good idea for anyone who wishes to start a group home to contact a good attorney and to work closely with local officials and politicians.

Plans to start a group home should identify sources of funding for the project. In some cases, founders of the group home may already be working with a social service agency or other nonprofit organization. If funds are not yet available, the organization starting a group home should seek grant money as well as public and private funding for the project. Generally, applying for such funding can be a long process, which may mean that it is necessary to begin fund raising before even choosing a location for the facility.

Two young boys
Two young boys

Depending on the focus of the group home as well as local ordinances and building codes, numerous permits and licenses may be required in order for the group home to legally operate. The area in which the group home operates may have laws requiring group homes to be licensed. In addition, the facility may be subject to various types of building and housing codes, zoning laws, and health inspections. For example, a group home may be required to have a certain number of fire exits, or its kitchen manager may be required to be certified in safe food handling. By hiring an experienced attorney or not-for-profit executive for advice and guidance, the group home founders may find the process of obtaining necessary permissions to be less cumbersome.

The organization starting a group home may need to receive approval to do so from local government officials who may be required under law to solicit input from the general public as to whether the permission should be granted. Depending on the nature of the group home, local citizens may object to its existence, particularly if its residents are perceived as undesirable. As such, founders of a group home may wish to secure the services of a public relations professional who can work with the media to present the group home project in a positive light.

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      Two young boys