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How to Start a Licensed Group Home in Michigan

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Individuals wanting to open a group home for children or adults in Michigan are required to obtain the appropriate license through the Michigan Department of Human Services. The process is demanding, requiring the applicant to undergo significant preparation and planning to help ensure that the fostered individuals receive the highest level of care.

Download and print an application packet from the Michigan Department of Human Services.

Design a program design, listing the nature of your services and who you intend to serve. Include protocols for Standard or Routine Procedures. This can include daily activities, meal preparation, medication administration or other similar daily activities.

Develop admission and discharge procedures for residents.

Develop policies relating to personnel, including job descriptions, medication handling training and a means of ensuring staff have the appropriate qualifications prior to hiring. Be sure to include the administrator and any supervisory or management positions. Also include job descriptions for consultants such as a behavioral consultant or psychiatric consultant.

Design a plan for daily staffing. It must show in detail the number of staff in the facility 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Create an organizational chart. This chart will show the hierarchical structure of your organization.

Obtain a credit report for each person listed on the application.

Draft a proposed annual budget to be submitted to your licensing consultant.

Provide proof of ownership of the home by including a deed or property tax statement with your application. Renters must show proof of their right to occupy the premises.

Develop a fire safety and disaster plan. Also develop a plan to deal with the emergency repair of necessary equipment, such as plumbing, heating or cooling.

Provide proof of the applicant and administrators' level of education and experience providing services for the population the home is designed to serve.

Obtain and complete a Medical Clearance Form for the applicant and administrator. Also provide a TB clearance for the applicant and any facility staff.

Undergo a background check for the applicant, administrator and any non-fostered adults over 18 who will be living in the facility.

Provide proof that at least one employee is able, through prior training or experience, to be responsible for the daily nutritional needs of the residents. This requirement applies only to homes of seven residents or more.

Schedule a fire inspection and a health inspection with the appropriate governmental agencies as required for the number of residents you wish to serve.

Complete your application and submit it to your licensing consultant.


Be sure to contact the Michigan Department of Human Services if you are having difficulty in understanding or completing any of the requirements to obtain a group home license.


Consider speaking to some other group home providers, and carefully consider the type of care that you are willing to provide. Some clients can be aggressive, attempt to escape or exhibit other maladaptive behaviors.You will be legally responsible for providing 24 hour a day, seven day a week care. Consider whether or not you will be able to handle this responsibility prior to seeking a license.