The Baltimore County Department of Social Services administers the Adult Foster Care program (County-funded) and the Project Home program (State-funded), which enable individuals to remain in the least restrictive community setting in safe, protective living arrangements that maximize each individual’s strengths. These homes care for a maximum of four adults within a supportive family setting. The Department works together as a team with the housing coordinators, the client’s social workers, the home providers and the client.
These programs assist County residents over the age of 18 who:
- Need protective housing
- Cannot completely care for themselves or live in an independent residential setting
- Do not need significant nursing or nursing home care or institutional care
- Do not require assisted living
- Are not bedridden
- Are ambulatory or, if in a wheelchair, must be able to perform all transfers safely without assistance
Clients in these programs may:
- Have a mental illness, i.e. schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder (manic-depression), anxiety disorder
- Be aged
- Be disabled
- Have medical conditions, i.e. diabetes, heart condition or arthritis, HIV-positive, have suffered a stroke
In most cases, the clients' medical needs are covered by Medical Assistance.
No client should require 24-hour personal care or awake-supervision. Clients having the following problems will have difficulty in a family setting and require a more extensive evaluation before being referred for placement:
- Severe confusion as to place or person
- Agitated or violent behavior
- Noncompliance with medical, psychiatric or social treatment plans
- Confusion coupled with incontinence
- Incontinence—On rare occasions, a provider may consider a client if they are able to cooperate with using incontinence-wear and can help with managing their own incontinence.
Learn more about the program admission process below.
Clients can be referred to our program by a hospital, the community or through other Department of Social Services programs.
The supervisor ranks the new client according to the client’s needs and assigns a social worker from the program to assess whether or not the client is appropriate and willing to be a part of this program.
The social worker making the assessment presents the client to the Housing Referral Committee. The committee consists of the housing coordinators and the program supervisor. The housing coordinators suggest possible providers based on the needs and wishes of the client. The housing coordinators will contact the provider and verbally present the client to the provider.
If the provider is interested, the client’s social worker will contact the provider, answer any further questions about the client and arrange a visit.
If the initial visit goes well, an overnight visit will be arranged (the provider will be paid for the overnight visit).
If the overnight visit goes well, a move-in date will be set.
Clients with income or assets that are insufficient to pay the cost of care and cover personal expenses will be eligible for a subsidy paid to the provider. This client receives a personal needs allowance of $75 and may keep an additional $32.50 from outside income.
Clients with incomes that are insufficient to pay for the cost of care and cover personal expenses will receive assistance to apply for Public Assistance to Adults (PAA)—a payment made to the client or his or her representative payee. Anyone eligible for PAA also receives Medical Assistance. This client receives a personal needs allowance of $82 and may keep $20 from outside income.
|Adult Foster Care||Project Home||Cost|
Home providers must meet the program requirements in order to participate.
- Fingerprinting and Background Check—All persons living in the home over the age of 18 years old, except clients, must be fingerprinted and pass a criminal background check and an agency clearance.
- Back-Up Provider—The provider must have a responsible, reliable back-up person (at least one or maybe more) who can come into the home and stay with the clients in their absence. The back-up may also be contacted if there is an emergency with a client and the provider cannot be reached.
- References and Clearances—Three references are required for both the provider and their back-up. If the provider is employed, one of the references must be a professional reference. You may use friends, neighbors or clergy members, but not relatives.
- Required Training—Several mandatory training sessions are required for the provider and back-ups, including but not limited to:
- First Aid
- Bloodborne Pathogens
- Medication Cueing and Coaching
A home study is conducted by the housing coordinator to assess the applicant’s appropriateness and interest in becoming a provider. Everyone in the home is expected to participate in the home study.
The provider's home must include:
- Grab rails/railings—In the bathroom and on all stairways
- Working smoke detectors—On each floor and in each bedroom. Rental properties require hard-wired smoke detectors with a battery backup.
- Fire extinguishers—For use against chemical and electrical fires
- Fire escape—A fire escape plan must be established. Fire drills must be held every 90 days. An outside fire escape must be included for any client bedroom located on the third floor or higher.
- Landline phone with emergency phone numbers posted nearby
- Must have an adequate amount of linens, dishes and utensils in the home
- If provider permits smoking, a designated smoking area
The maximum is two clients to a room. The room must:
- Be a separate sleeping space
- Measure 70 square feet for one client, and 120 square feet for two clients
- Must include:
- A comfortable bed with two pillows
- A bedside stand with a drawer
- A comfortable chair
- At least two drawers in a bureau
- A bedside or over-the-bed lamp
- Closet space
- Proper lighting
Services are based on needs of the individual client and are determined by the client’s social worker. This information is intended to be a brief overview. When provider applicants are assigned for home study, the housing coordinators will review the responsibilities of the provider and the certification process in detail.
Required services to clients include:
- Three nutritious meals a day and snacks
- Personal care
- Supervision—In most cases, clients should be able to be left alone for a few hours
- Record Keeping—Disbursement of client’s personal needs allowance, if required by client’s social worker
- Monitor Medications—Coaching and cueing client with self-administration
- Assistance with dressing or choosing proper clothing
- Arranging appointments, medical and psychiatric
- Transportation to and from appointments, medical and psychiatric
- Ongoing contact with psychiatrist, medical doctor, housing coordinator and client’s social worker
Apply for the Program
Department of Social Services
Drumcastle Government Center
6401 York Road
Baltimore, Maryland 21212