While North Carolina has several different types of group homes--for unwed mothers, troubled teens, persons with behavioral or development issues, for example--adult care homes are some of the most common. These homes provide care and assistance to people who have difficulty carrying out the activities of daily living. The homes also provide supervision to people who have cognitive impairments that can affect the safety or well-being of themselves or others. North Carolina has several regulations that adult care homes must comply with to do business in the state.
No group home can do business in North Carolina without a license from the Division of Health Services. To get a license, a facility must first submit a certificate of need that proposes the number of beds it will provide to a county. If that county needs more beds, this will get approval from the Division. Next, the facility must get construction approval from the Division by submitting two sets of construction plans and passing a construction inspection. Once the facility is constructed, the home must submit an application and an application fee to the Division. The Division will conduct a background check on the facility administrator before issuing a license.
Licensed adult group homes must offer activities that are designed to meet the individual needs and interests of residents. The homes must conduct medical examinations for all admittees before allowing them to live in the group home. The facilities also must provide three nutritional meals per day, and snacks must be available to residents who require greater daily caloric intake. Each resident must have access to a personal, lockable area where he can stow valuables. The home must have transportation accessible or available so that residents have the opportunity to conduct daily affairs such as shopping and getting to appointments.
There are two types of group home violations. A "Type A" violation is where staff commits a negligent act that leads to harm. An example would be if a confused resident is allowed to wander away from the facility and gets hit by a car. Each reported violation can cost between $1,000 and $20,000, depending on the severity of the harm. A "Type B" violation is a negligent act that does not lead to harm. One example is when a resident receives pain medication every morning, but on one occasion receives the medicine a few hours late with no noticeable consequences. A Type B violation costs $400 a day until the violation is corrected.
Based in San Francisco, Kara Chance is currently a researcher and legal assistant. She started writing professionally in 2002, and her articles have appeared in "Business Wire," "Ecology Law Quarterly" and the "Daily O'Collegian." She has a Master of Arts in English from University College-Dublin, and a Bachelor of Arts in literature from Oklahoma State University.