Adult Family Home (AFH) Regulations in Washington

Learn about Adult Family Homes in Washington State including regulations, services, costs and how to find one. Get answers to frequently asked questions.
Regulations book

Adult family homes (AFHs) offer a vital service for seniors who require specialized care and support. In Washington State, AFHs are regulated by the state’s Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). It’s essential for those who operate or live in an AFH to understand the regulations set forth by the DSHS. Knowing Washington State’s regulations and standards for AFHs will help ensure that our seniors receive the compassionate care and support they need and deserve.


Licensing Requirements

Operating an adult family home in Washington State is a responsibility that requires proper training and certification. To obtain a license from the DSHS, an individual must go through a thorough licensing process, which includes a background check, an inspection of the home, and a review of the proposed care plan. It’s important to note that all staff members must also pass a background check. The DSHS requires that the licensee have a minimum of 80 hours of training in adult family home care, which must be completed before the license is issued and renewed every two years. This ensures that the care provided in these homes is of the highest quality and that residents receive the attention and support they need. 


Staffing Requirements

Ensuring the safety and well-being of our loved ones in adult family homes is of utmost importance, and the DSHS recognizes this by setting specific staffing requirements. At least one caregiver must be on duty at all times, and there must be an awake caregiver present during the night if needed to assist a resident.  Caregivers must complete training before they can begin working in an AFH, which demonstrates their commitment to providing quality care for residents.


Care Standards

In order to ensure that residents receive high-quality care and support, the DSHS sets forth specific care standards that must be met by all adult family homes. These standards include providing nutritious meals, assistance with activities of daily living, and medication management. Each resident must have a written care plan that is tailored to their unique needs and reviewed regularly to ensure that their needs are being met. AFHs must also provide a safe and comfortable living environment and must have a disaster preparedness plan in place.


Bottom Line

The regulations and standards for adult family homes in Washington State are designed to ensure that seniors receive compassionate care and support in a safe and nurturing environment. By following these guidelines, we can provide our loved ones with the quality care they deserve. As a community, we must prioritize the well-being of our seniors and recognize the importance of adult family homes as crucial resources for specialized care. We can work together to uphold these standards and continue to provide exceptional assistance for our seniors.

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Benefits of AFHC Membership:

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  1. Support for staff hiring and training
  2. WAC/RCW clarification
  3. Medicaid questions
  4. Regulatory assistance
  5. And much much more

Learn more about the benefits of joining the Adult Family Home Council.