How to Start a Group Home Business

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Group homes for teenagers are common.
Group homes for teenagers are common. (Image: John Howard/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Some businesses are a labor of love. That doesn’t mean, however, that they shouldn’t run like a business. It is possible to help the community and start a profitable business at the same time. Group homes that help the mentally disabled and others who need help becoming independent are great businesses. If you want to start a group home, research your area and plan for your business.

Things You'll Need

  • Business plan (or home business plan if you intend to run the group home from your house)
  • Group home legal requirements

Group Homes: How to Become a Business

Promote a giving attitude. It is crucial that group homes be about more than making a profit. The individuals who depend on this type of service need people with open minds and big hearts to help them through what may be challenging times in their lives.

Become licensed per state standards. Each state has a Department of Health and Human Services that administers the rules governing group home programs. The license is often called a "community care license." Contact the department in your state of residence to determine specific rules surrounding group homes.

Determine the population that will be served. Unfortunately, the country is not at a loss for people in need of help. Mentally disabled, pregnant teens and low-functioning young adults are all demographics that would benefit from a group home environment. As an owner, decide what group is in most need of help. This should be an emotional decision.

Find the appropriate staff to work in the group home. Wanting to help is not enough. It takes trained professionals to work with people who have real problems. Licensed social workers are often good choices to run group homes; hiring for group home jobs should never be done in haste.

Create a budget that ensures that the business will run profitably on the stipend issued by the state. This is where some astute business acumen comes into play. Owners must decide how they will direct funds to best manage the group home and create a budget to communicate those decisions.

Ensure that the staff receive ongoing training. The methods to challenge youth and other needy populations are constantly evolving. Make sure that staff knowledge is up to date and everyone involved in dealing with the group home population understands the challenges facing everyone.

Tips & Warnings

  • Seek grants for group homes and apply for as many as apply to your group home.

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