Open a Specialized Group Facility
Specialized Group Facilities (SGF), also known as group homes or group centers, provide a higher level of care and treatment to foster children with needs that exceed the ability of foster homes. A “specialized group home” is located in a house controlled by the group home parents who are primarily responsible for the care of the children and reside therein. A "specialized group center" is located in a house controlled by a governing body that hires the group center parents or personnel who are primarily responsible for the care of the children. SGFs provide 24-hour care for 3 to 12 children at a time, ages 3 to 18 years old and over 18 years of age through court order. SGFs are responsible for the day-to-day care of a child, including provision for a safe place to live, food and clothing, and transportation to family visits, medical and dental visits and therapeutic services as needed.
To Open a Specialized Group Facility the Primary Care Provider must:
- Be at least 21 years old and exhibit general stability in life
- Have at least 2 years of childcare experience
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Have a home or facility with adequate space to house at least 3 foster children
- Have the physical stamina and emotional aptitude necessary to care for children
- Complete and pass all background checks (see below for more information)
- Have a valid Colorado Driver's License and access to a reliable vehicle maintained per Colorado law (i.e. insurance and registration)
- Pass a home inspection ensuring your physical space/property is maintained safely per Colorado Department of Human Services regulations for Specialized Group Facilities
- Be financially stable without foster care reimbursement
- Create a program to address the diverse needs of foster children
LENGTH OF THE PROCESS: The licensing process takes approximately 4 to 6 months for highly motivated individuals and families. A New World believes the best decisions are made through a thoughtful process, and we are committed to progressing through the licensing process in this timeframe barring any outside circumstances.
COST: It is a $200 application fee, payable to the Colorado Department of Human Services, to open a Specialized Group Facility. SGF providers and all staff members will be required to pay for fingerprinting ($10), a CBI/FBI background check ($39.50), and the Background Investigative Unit ($15). CPR/First Aid certification usually costs $40 to $50. In addition, the primary providers will have to undergo a psychological evaluation ($400). A New World does not charge a licensing fee.
APPLICATION: There are two applications for Specialized Group Facilities, an initial application and an application specifically for Specialized Group Facilities ($200). The first step toward opening a SGF is to complete an application packet, which includes the initial application (free), background check forms, and basic policies and procedures to be reviewed and signed. Contact A New World at 303-743-4000 to get started! BACKGROUND CHECKS: Checks: To be completed by SGF parents, personnel, and members of the household 18 years of age or older. The Background Investigation Unit Form ($15) will be completed to determine if an individual has been founded for child abuse and/or neglect by a Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) county office.
A fingerprint card (provided by A New World) will need to be taken by the individual to a police department for printing. The fingerprinting card costs $10 and the background check costs $39.50. The fingerprint card is then submitted to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. All arrests are listed, whether an individual was convicted or not. The individual will be instructed to provide a disposition on any arrest in order to determine how the case was closed. Deferments are considered guilty convictions by the CDHS.
According to Volume VII of the Colorado Children's Code, A New World CANNOT license a SGF provider, nor can a SGF employ an individual who has been convicted of child abuse, a crime of violence, felony offenses involving unlawful sexual behavior, any domestic violence felony, any physical assault, battery and/or drug/alcohol related offenses within 5 years.
REFERENCES: Three (3) letters of reference from people who are un-related to you, one of which must from a supervisor who can attest to your childcare experience.
PHYSICALS: Current physical for the SGF parent(s), children, and other adults residing in the home (physical forms will be provided by A New World).
PETS: Proof of vaccination for your pets must be submitted.
CPR/FIRST AID CERTIFICATION: All SGF parents and SGF personnel must be CPR/First Aid Certified. Certification must include both adult and infant/child.
REQUIRED TRAINING: Twelve (12) house of foster parent CORE training must be completed prior to licensure. The SGF parent(s) must be QMAP certified. An additional fifteen (15) hours of training must be earned within the first 90 days of licensure. Ongoing training is also required as a part of the re- certification process. A New World offers free trainings throughout the year to help group home parents and personnel meet these requirements and address their specific development needs.
PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT: A psychological assessment will be completed by a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). The psychological assessment is a requirement of all potential specialized group facility parents in the State of Colorado and is facilitated by a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) approved by the licensing agent (A New World). The psychological assessment is our way of getting to know the SGF parent(s) to ensure he or she is able to provide the higher level of care SGF children require. All background checks must be received prior to initiating the psychological assessment. Contact A New World CPA for more information at 303-743-4000.
PHYSICAL SPACE: A safety inspection will be conducted by agency staff. In addition SGFs must pass a fire department and health department inspection. Agency staff will ensure each bedroom has adequate square footage for the number of foster children expected to live in the home, emergency numbers are visibly posted, fire extinguishers and smoke detectors are present in the home, etc. A zoning letter will also be required.
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION:: SGFs are required to have a program description including the following items. A New World staff will work with SGF providers to establish a program if one has not already been established.