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Project Home and Adult Foster Care

Baltimore County Department of Social Services
6401 York Road, Second Floor
Baltimore, Maryland 21212-2130

Phone: 410-853-3511
TTY users call via Maryland Relay

Project Home and Adult Foster Care Clients

Baltimore County Department of Social Services administers two housing programs for clients over the age of 18 who need protective housing. These programs are:

  • Adult Foster Care: County-funded program
  • Project Home: State-funded program

These programs provide homes and supportive services to adult Baltimore County residents who cannot completely care for themselves or live in an independent residential setting but who do not need significant nursing or institutional care. The primary goal of these programs is to 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.

We work together as part of a team: the Baltimore County Department of Social Services’ housing coordinators, the client’s social workers, the providers (the person who provides a home for the clients) and the client.

For further program description and client eligibility requirements, see:

  • Adult Foster Care—local policy and SSTA regulations COMAR 07.02.15
  • CARE Program—COMAR 07.02.19 (Project Home)

Clients Served by Project Home and Adult Foster Care

Clients in these programs may have a mental illness such as schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder (manic-depression) or anxiety disorder. They may also be aged or disabled individuals. They may have medical conditions, such as diabetes, a heart condition or arthritis, be HIV-positive or have suffered a stroke. They do not require assisted living or nursing home care and are not bedridden. In most cases, their medical needs are covered by Medical Assistance.

Clients having the following problems will have difficulty in a family setting and require a more extensive evaluation before referring for placement:

  1. Severe confusion as to place or person
  2. Wandering
  3. Agitated or violent behavior
  4. Non-compliance with medical, psychiatric, social treatment plans
  5. Confusion coupled with incontinence
  6. 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. No client should require 24-hour personal care or awake-supervision. The client must be ambulatory or if in a wheelchair must be able to perform all transfers safely without assistance.

Program Admission Process for Clients

Clients can be referred to our program from a hospital, the community and other Department of Social Services programs. When a referral is made, the supervisor ranks the client according to the client’s needs and assigns a social worker from the program to assess the client. Once the assessment is complete and 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 this goes well, a move-in date will be set.

Requirements of the Home and Provider


  • Grab rails in the bathroom and railings on all stairways
  • Working smoke detectors on each floor and in each bedroom
  • For rental properties, hard-wired smoke detectors with battery back up
  • Fire extinguishers for use against chemical and electrical fires
  • Established fire escape plan: fire drills must be held every 90 days
  • If provider permits smoking, designated smoking area
  • Outside fire escape for any client bedroom located on third floor or higher
  • Landline phone with emergency phone numbers posted nearby

Clients must have a separate sleeping space. The maximum is two clients to a room. The room must measure 70 square feet for one client. With two clients in a room, the room must measure 120 square feet. The client needs 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 and proper lighting. There also needs to be an adequate amount of linens, dishes and utensils in the home.


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.

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.


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.


Several mandatory training sessions are required for the provider and back-ups. These training sessions include CPR, First Aid, Bloodborne Pathogens and Medication Cueing and Coaching. There may also be other training sessions held and you may be mandated to attend those as well.

Providers must provide the following services:

  • 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
  • Shopping
  • Budgeting
  • 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 medical and psychiatric appointments
  • Transportation to and from medical and psychiatric appointments
  • Ongoing contact with psychiatrist, medical doctor, housing coordinator and client’s social worker 

Note: 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.

Payment Fees

Project Home

Level A


Level B


Level C


Level D


Project Home 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

Level 1


Level 2


Level 3


Level 4


Adult Foster Care 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.


Print out, complete and mail applications to:

Department of Social Services
Drumcastle Government Center
6401 York Road
Baltimore, Maryland 21212

Staff Information

Tina Savage, LCSW-C, Supervisor
Phone: 410-853-3511

Gem Wilson, LMSW, Housing Coordinator
Phone: 410-853-3563

Anna Chalker, LMSW, Housing Coordinator
Phone: 410-853-3513

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Revised October 2, 2020         


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