Residential facilities for children. Group homes may receive funding from state or federal sources, or they may be privately funded by religious organizations or donations from various groups. Some group homes receive a mixture of federal, state and private funding. The children may be foster children, or they may be children who have been placed in the group home voluntarily by parents.
Group homes usually house children over age five and provide temporary shelter for emergency situations or long-term shelter for hard-to-place children, such as teenagers or large sibling groups. Some children may have experienced adoption disruptions and need a group environment rather than a foster home environment because of the pain of loss and the acting out behavior of the child.
Once a popular solution for all children removed from the home or orphaned or abandoned, group homes have been heavily displaced by individual foster homes; however, the entry of increasing numbers of children into the foster care system has made social worker experts reconsider the group home as an appropriate answer for housing children. (See also FOSTER CARE.)
Children who have been severely physically or sexually abused may not be able to fit into the family environment of a foster home and may instead need the facilities of a group home and readily available psychiatric counseling.
One national group that works to improve services to children in group homes or other institutions is the National Association of Homes for Children (NAHC). The NAHC can be reached at
National Association of Homes and Services for Children
1701 K St. NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20006
Find more information on group homes
©2000 by Christine Adamec and William Pierce, Ph.D. Reprinted from The Encyclopedia of Adoption, 2nd Edition (2nd Edition) with permission of Facts On File, Inc.
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