A group home is one of the housing choices for young adults with disabilities and special health care needs. If you are interested in a group home for your child, this page has things to consider. A group home is not a fit for everyone. It can take a lot of work to find a good one.
It is a good idea to start thinking about your child's future early, when they are still young. We have heard from parents and other experts that it is also a good idea to apply for benefits for your child, such as Medicaid and SSI disability benefits, as soon as you can. See our Transition to Adulthood section and our transition planning page for more help.
A group home is a place where a small group of people live together. Residents are usually on the same daily schedule. There are different types of group homes for children, adults and older adults with different needs.
Staff at the group home can help with your child's needs, including:
If your child has an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD), Texas Health and Human Services (HHS) has a web page with more information on long-term care, like group homes and intermediate care facilities (ICFs).
If you have a child with IDD, start with your local IDD authority (LIDDA). Find out more on the HHS IDD long-term care web page.
If your child has the Medicaid Home and Community Services (HCS) waiver, HHS has a way to search for HCS group homes with openings. Group homes and ICFs are licensed and inspected by Texas HHS.
There are also private group homes. You can search online or connect with other parents for ideas.
Some group homes are better than others. It's important to take your time when looking for one. Do not give up if your first try is not a good fit. You can always try another one.
Here are some things to look for or ask at a group home:
See this Texas HHS checklist that can help when looking for a group home.
It's a good idea to visit at different times of the day. That way, you can see what the home and staff are like in the day, evening, weekend and more. Think about if your child will be safe and happy there.
Group homes might be free to your child and family. Or they might cost a lot.
Three things to know about group home costs:
It might feel overwhelming to think about where your child will live as an adult when you can't care for them anymore. A group home is not the only choice. There are places like State Supported Living Centers. Or some families set up apartments next to each other where a few adult children live, and their family members work together to check in.
If your child has the Medicaid HCS waiver, there is also a "host home/companion care" option. With it, your child can live with you or another family. And you could get paid as their caregiver. Or hire caregivers to come into your home. Your home would have to meet certain criteria and be checked by HHS.
Some parents also use HCS or other waiver funds to set up independent living situations for their children – either alone or with roommates – in a private home or apartment. If you are interested in HCS options, call 1-855-937-2372 to speak to a trained professional.
Adults Independent and Motivated (AIM) is working on different, creative ideas for housing. Places like Down Home Ranch are also building new options. Texas Parent to Parent has an article on how to set up a parent-run home. You can call or email them for housing ideas and help getting started creating your own group home. Parents are working together to support their adult children to be more independent.