Are you wondering at the rules and regulations for living in a group home? If YES, here are 20 rules and regulations for living in a group home in 2021. The rules and regulations for living in a group home were created to manage the behavior of residents of group homes, staff members, and of course visitors.

Aside from the stricter rules and regulations in a group home, there are basic expectations from people who are residing in a group home. They are expected to engage in required activities and each resident is responsible each day to make their bed, pick up their clothes, handle their personal care (brush hair, shower and brush teeth), keep their closet neat (use laundry baskets for all dirty clothes), keep the bathroom tidy after use, and be responsible and respectful.

All residents are expected to be familiar with the House rules and regulations along with the required fire and safety procedures.

What are the Rules and Regulations for Living in a Group Home?

  1. No Alcohol, Smoking or Drugs Allowed

Absolutely no alcohol will be permitted while you are a resident of a group home. This applies at all times including when you are away from the Home. This applies to the usage of drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia. Smoking in a group home is not permitted and will result in immediate discharge.

Although in some group homes smoking is permitted in the smoking designated area until 11 pm unless otherwise approved by the Director. Violations of this will result in immediate discharge and possible prosecution according to the Law. Please note that this same rule applies to visitors and relatives.

  1. Prescription Medications Are Administered By Trained Staff

All prescription medications in a group home will be turned over to the staff for safekeeping and proper administration. Non-prescription medications must be approved by the staff and may be kept by the resident with the approval of the Director or the group home.

Please note that residents of a group home are subject to random Drug and Alcohol tests at any time and the Director of the group home decides to test. Failure of these tests or refusal of these tests will result in immediate discharge from the group home.

  1. Residents of Group Homes Are Subjected to Random Room Search

In a group home, the Director and Staff reserve the right to perform a room search at any time it is deemed necessary to ensure the serenity and security of the Home. This includes personal items and vehicles if appropriate.

  1. Threats and Act of Violence are Seriously Prohibited

Threats or any acts of violence toward staff or other residents of a group home will not be tolerated and will result in immediate discharge and prosecution according to the Law. No Firearms, hunting knives, or other weapons are permitted by the residents of the group home.

  1. Gambling and Borrowing of Money Is Strictly Prohibited

In a group home, gambling is strictly prohibited, and this includes the purchase of lottery tickets or related activities. So also, no resident of a group home is allowed to borrow or loan money to other residents.

  1. Residents Are Subjected to House Curfew

In most group homes, house curfew is 10:00 pm every night. The doors will be locked at that time. Unless approved by the staff, any resident returning after 10 must find other sleeping arrangements for the night. Failure to return by curfew will result in discharge from the Home.

As expected, all residents must use the sign in/out sheet when leaving the property. This must be done to ensure that the Staff knows where residents are at all times.

  1. Eligibility for Overnight or Weekend Pass

All residents must live at the Home for thirty days before they can become eligible for an overnight or weekend pass. This time period may be waived by the Director for emergencies and special circumstances. 2 passes per month may be approved on alternating weekends.

Should an emergency arise that prevents you from returning on a specified date or time, you must contact the staff immediately. Passes must be filled out by Wed at noon of the week requested. All residents must live at the Home for three days before they can sign themselves out. Each resident will at the discretion of the management of the group home, be eligible for a 3 hour pass on their free days.

  1. All Visitors are Subject to the Approval by the Management of the Group Home

All visitors are subject to the approval by the management of the group home. No visitors are permitted on the property while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Female visitors are allowed only at the discretion of the Director of the group home. No visitors will be permitted upstairs or allowed during group sessions or for scheduled meetings.

  1. Calls by Residents of the Group Home are Regulated

In most group homes, personal calls are not allowed until after 5 pm on weekdays unless an emergency exists. Personal calls must be taken on the hallway phone. Cell phones are permitted at the discretion of the management of the group home.

Residents may be in possession of their personal cell phones between the hours of 9:00 am and 9:00 pm Monday through Thursday of each week. On weekends they may keep their cell phones at all times beginning Friday at 2:00 pm through Sunday at 9:00 pm. The staff on shift will ensure that these guidelines are followed.

Residents are not to use their personal cell phones for anything other than the necessary calls. The phones are not allowed:

  • When the resident should be interacting with the community or other house members
  • Mealtimes
  • Chore times
  • While their child is awake and needing attention
  1. Residents of a Group Home are Responsible for Cleaning of the Facility

All residents are to assist in keeping the group home and surrounding grounds neat and clean at all times. Please note this includes daily assigned chores, special work assignments, and your own room. So, beds will be made daily and chores completed by 9 am daily.

Please note that if residents go to work, they are still responsible for their chores. You may ask another resident to do them and repay him by either doing his chore or giving him money. The responsibility of the chore being done will fall upon the resident originally assigned the chore.

  1. Eating is Restricted to Only Dining Area

All food and snack items will be eaten in the dining room. No eating in the bedrooms, television lounge, or smoking area. No drinks other than water may be taken off the first floor at any time.

Please note that all residents will be responsible for keeping the kitchen cleaned. Any violations of this such as dirty microwave, crumbs, spills not cleaned up, etc. will result in discharge from the group home. All dishes must be washed using hot, soapy water and must be air dried.

  1. Dress Code, Good Hygiene and Personal Cleanliness Must Be Followed

Residents must be fully clothed (including shoes) and downstairs by 7:30 am daily. Residents are also expected to maintain good hygiene and personal cleanliness. Please note that this also includes taking a shower daily.

  1. Sleeping Time is Monitored and Regulated

In a group home, the sleeping time for all residents is monitored and regulated. No resident is to return to bed after 7:30 am weekdays unless approved by staff or he has a written permission from a doctor.

Please note that each resident is to be in his own room and lights out by 11:30 pm with the exception of Friday and Saturday when lights out is 1:00 am. No resident is to enter another resident’s room without the other resident being there. Locks are provided for each room. Keeping doors locked is the resident’s responsibility.

  1. Laundry Activities are Monitored and Regulated

In a group home, laundry activities are monitored and regulated. Laundry is to be done during assigned times unless approved by staff. No resident will put laundry in and leave the premises. Lint filters will be cleaned after each load. At no time will laundry be done after 6 pm unless approved by the staff.

  1. TV and Radio are Monitored and Regulated

In a group home, TV and radio are monitored and regulated. Residents will keep the volume of their radios at a level not to be heard in the hallways or stairways. Failure to do so will result in the loss of this privilege. Headphones must be used after 11:00 pm. Televisions will be turned on only after 5 pm weekdays unless approved by the management of the group home.

  1. Appointments are Regulated and Approved by the Management of the Group Home

In group homes, appointments are regulated and approved by the management of the group home. All appointments should be scheduled for your free day. If unable to do this, arrangements to miss a group must be approved by the management of the group home.

All medical arrangements (doctor’s appointments, dentist, optometrist, etc.) and special concerns are to be made by staff if the resident is under the age of 18. Medication administered by the staff will be kept in the medication closet.

Any medical or personal information regarding the resident or baby will be given only to the guardian or parent by staff unless written authorized permission is signed by the parent or guardian. The resident will have the choice to share information as she chooses to. All bills incurred that are not covered by insurance, Medicaid, or other resources are the responsibility of the resident and/or her guardian.

  1. Permission Must Be Taken if You are Not Going to Be Available for Scheduled Meetings

Anyone needing to miss a scheduled group at the group home must have the management’s permission. Please note that residents under 30 days will not miss scheduled groups for any reason.

Arrangements to take a resident off the property must be made 24 hours in advance. Permission must be given by the management of the group home before the resident leaves the property. Residents may not leave the property with the birth father of the baby unless arrangements have been made and approved by the management of the group home.

  1. The Usage of Foul Words are Prohibited in and Around the Group Home

Swearing and vulgar language will not be tolerated in any part of the group home facility or property or while in the presence of staff or other residents. Residents are encouraged to be positive at all times. When a question or problem arises, please go one on one to resolve the issue and then ask for assistance if that does NOT resolve the conflict.

  1. Residents are Responsible for Their Goods and Belongings Upon Discharge from the Group Home

When discharged from the Home, all personal effects must be removed immediately. The group home will not accept responsibility for items that have been left. The management of the group home will make every effort to protect personal items and will hold them for 10 days (without assuming responsibility) to give time for residents to make arrangements to pick them up.

After 10 days, items will be donated to the local mission and will not be stored at the group home. The same applies to personal items of individuals residing in the group home. Valuables may be turned over to the staff for safekeeping.

In conclusion;

As expected, the rules and regulations listed above are some of the basics that you can get from most group homes in the United States of America. But it is important to state that there are unique rules and regulations that can only apply to specific group homes based on their location, community, and the peculiar challenges they are subjected to.

Joy Nwokoro