Group homes over the years have become a safe haven for different categories of people. But before you determine the category of people who are qualified to live in a group home, it is important that we have an idea of what a group home is.
Basically, a group home is a type of residential facility that provides housing and support services for individuals who require assistance with their daily living activities or individuals who have specific or special needs.
By law, in the United States, it is mandatory for group homes to be staffed by trained professionals or caregivers who provide support and guidance to the residents of the group. Now that we have established what a group home is all about, let us identify people who are qualified to live in a group.
Who Qualifies to Live in a Group Home?
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Children and Youth in Foster Care
Top on our list of those qualified to legally live in a group home are children and youth in foster care. When we talk about children and youth in foster care, we are talking about a minor child who has been taken into state custody and placed with a state-licensed adult, who cares for the child in place of their parent or guardian.
Generally, children, and youth every so often enter the foster care system as a result of an unsafe or unstable home environment, usually due to abuse or neglect. The fact that these children cannot carry out basic activities for themselves means that they can be legally admitted into a group home.
Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
Another set of people who qualify to legally live in a group home are individuals with developmental disabilities. Developmental disabilities are a group of conditions resulting from an impairment in physical, learning, language, or behavior.
These conditions begin during the developmental period, may impact day-to-day functioning, and usually last throughout a person’s lifetime.
These set of individuals are permitted by law to be admitted into group homes where trained caregivers and professionals can help them with their daily activities, and also help them learn with the aid of specialized learning aids.
Adults with Mental Illnesses
Adults with mental illnesses are yet another set of people who are permitted by law to be admitted into a group home. Although there are different levels of mental health, people who are admitted into group homes are people who cannot do things by themselves due to their mental illness.
Serious mental illness among people aged 18 and older is defined at the federal level as having a diagnosable mental, behavior, or emotional disorder that causes serious functional impairment that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.
Before people with mental illnesses are admitted into group homes, the government makes sure the group home has a qualified psychiatrist among other professional caregivers and workers.
Another set of people who can legally be admitted to a group home are the elderly. Well, there are several reasons why elderly individuals are admitted into group homes.
Top among the reasons could be that they do not have family members around to take care of them especially when they can no longer carry out their daily activities like bathing, cooking, taking medications, going shopping, et al. Another reason could be that they need a companion or to be among people who are in similar conditions as they are.
Please note that in the United States, and by the World Health Organization definition, the elderly have been defined as the chronological age of 65 or older. People from 65 to 74 years old are usually considered early elderly, while those over 75 years old are referred to as late elderly.
Transitional Age Youth
Lastly, another group of people who are qualified to legally live in a group home are people who are considered transitional-age youth. Transition age youth (TAY) encompass a broad demographic spanning from older adolescence to young adulthood (15 to 26 years old).
Transition-age youth (TAY) are individuals from 15 to 26 years old who have or are at risk of having, Serious Mental Illness (SMI) or Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED), defined as serious emotional or behavioral difficulties that are psychological in origin.
As expected, people in that condition usually don’t have the capacity to carry out some basic daily tasks hence they will need assistance from professional caregivers.
Apart from all the people listed above, there may be other individuals who are not listed above but are qualified by law to live in a group home.
More often than not, if you are not sure whether someone is qualified to live in a group home, it is advisable to reach out to any group home of your choice to make inquiries, or preferably, visit the office of the regulatory of group homes in your city to make inquiries about the individual.