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Choosing an Adult Foster Care Residence for Your Loved One With IDDs

Navigating the complexities of adulthood can be particularly challenging — but also incredibly rewarding — for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDDs) and their families. As these individuals enter adulthood, many families need to find appropriate care solutions for their loved ones, including foster care for adults with developmental disabilities.

Adult Foster Care (AFC) can provide a supportive and nurturing environment tailored to the unique needs of adults with IDDs, ensuring they receive the care, assistance, and empowering opportunities that will allow them to live their most fulfilling lives.

What Is AFC?

AFC is a residential program designed to support adults who cannot live independently due to physical, intellectual, or developmental disabilities. These residences are licensed and regulated by state laws. There are two types of licensed AFCs: homes and facilities.

Homes generally serve six or fewer residents under 60 years of age, whereas facilities serve residents over 60. In a home setting, individuals live in a family-like environment where they receive personal care, supervision, and support with daily activities from trained caregivers. Both homes and facilities provide room and board as well as personal and nursing care; facilities typically offer additional supervision and around-the-clock care.

Tips for Choosing an AFC Home or Facility for Adults With IDDs

Selecting the right AFC provider is crucial in procuring the best possible care for adults with IDDs, so familiarize yourself with the laws that govern these providers before choosing one. Here are some key tips to consider:

  • Evaluate licensing and compliance. AFC homes or facilities should be properly licensed and adhere to state regulations. This guarantees that the facility meets specific standards of care and safety. For example, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs provides comprehensive guidelines and licensing information about Michigan adult foster care.

  • Assess caregiver qualifications. Caregivers fostering adults with disabilities play a pivotal role in the overall well-being of each resident. It’s essential to inquire about their qualifications, training, philosophy, and experience in regard to working with adults with IDDs.


  • Consider the support services offered. AFC providers offer varying levels of support services. These can include medical care, therapeutic services, recreational activities, and social integration programs. Access to a wide range of services can significantly enhance quality of life for adults with IDDs. Ask questions to determine whether each residence offers a supportive and adaptable living environment.

  • Tour and assess the environment. Personal visits to prospective AFC locations allow families to observe the environment, interact with caregivers, and assess the overall atmosphere. The physical environment of the AFC provider should be safe, accessible, and conducive to the residents’ needs. Look for features such as wheelchair accessibility, safety measures, and comfortable living spaces.

Navigate Life Better With Progressive Lifestyles

Progressive Lifestyles, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation based in Waterford, Michigan, and we have been in operation since 1983. Our mission is to provide supportive and caring residential opportunities for individuals with IDDs throughout Oakland County.

We support small, licensed AFC homes and private residences with community living supports, home help services, and private-duty nurses.

A primary focus of our organization is to interact with the individuals we support through the Culture of Gentleness Model. We seek to create a positive environment to help them feel safe and valued by maximizing praise, limiting demands, maintaining consistent structure, and reducing stress during transitions. Contact us today to learn more about

living the Progressive Lifestyle!


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