Adult Foster Care


Adult foster care provides residential care for people age 18 and over who need supportive housing and services due to physical, emotional, developmental or mental health reasons. Providers of adult foster care are responsible for residents' food, lodging, protection, supervision and household services, personal cares, etc. 

Providers must be licensed. The county evaluates prospective homes and recommends licenses for those that meet state standards, monitors providers for compliance, and supports quality foster homes for adults.

A person's needs and choices drive placement decisions; “person center planning” leads all home placements.  There is no guarantee of resident placements; providers are not employees or agents of the county.  

Click below to expand information…

Prospective Providers

Thank you for your interest in the adult foster care at St. Louis County. Licenses fall into two categories. Family or Corporate.

Family adult foster care providers

When elderly people or adults with physical disabilities are no longer able to care for themselves in their own homes, adult foster care may be an option. Adult foster homes are single-family residences that offer 24-hour care in a home-like setting.

Family Providers of adult foster care are responsible for residents' food, lodging, protection, supervision and household services, personal cares, etc.

What are the benefits of becoming an adult foster home licensee?

  • Make a difference in the lives of others while making a living in his/her own home; 
  • Have the satisfaction of operating his/her own business;
  • Providing adult foster care is ideal for those who wish to work from home, own their own business and provide personal care and services outside of an institutional setting.  (Reminder, there is no guarantee of placements or employment.)

What are the challenges of becoming an adult foster home licensee?

  • Loss of privacy with additional people living in the home;
  • The death of people they are very attached to and love;
  • Lifting, moving or caring for people who are immobile, who fall easily, have problems eating or become incontinent, and have conditions that may not improve; or
  • Having to make complex care decisions for residents while respectfully and mindfully working with families, professionals and the resident him or herself, who may have competing interests.

For those who become adult foster home licensees, the advantages can far outweigh the challenges provided your heart is leading the business.


Pause on Family Adult Foster Care Licensing

The first step in the licensing process for a Family Adult Foster Care is to attend an Orientation Meeting. Due to a high number of openings at existing homes, Orientation Meetings have been paused. You are welcome to complete our Prospective Family Adult Foster Care Survey in order to be put on the waitlist. St. Louis County invites people to future Orientation Meetings based on the needs of people looking to receive Family Adult Foster Care OR in the order that they have responded to the survey. 

We will announce the opening of the waiting on this page.

We do, however, have a high demand for Family Child Foster Care providers. If you are interested in becoming a Family Child Foster Care provide or would like to learn more about it, please visit our public website Child Foster Care or contact:
Jennifer Fick (South St. Louis County)
Michelle Brown (North St. Louis County


Corporate adult foster care providers

The State of Minnesota has a moratorium on new corporate adult foster care facilities, and has capped the number of homes allowed. Counties cannot grant licenses for corporate applicants unless those providers plan to serve specific clients who meet certain criteria.

You can find information on the moratorium exception process and exception-eligible client development.

DHS Moratorium

The county has no information about when or if the state will lift the moratorium. It would require new action by the state legislature. Occasionally, the county will issue a request for interest for providing corporate adult foster care. These are usually posted on the county's web page.


St. Louis County Purchasing Division utilizes DemandStar, a web-based system for public solicitations, to provide current information to potential providers on our more formal solicitations or requests for proposals (RFPs).


After registering with DemandStar, providers will have greater access to bid opportunities, immediate access to download documents, receive prompt notifications of addenda, bid electronically (e-bid), and have access to a real-time information 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.

Prospective providers who are registered with DemandStar are encouraged to update their information through DemandStar, as St. Louis County does not have access to update this information on their behalf.

Licensing Requirements

  • Attend a Licensing Orientation with St. Louis County Licensors.  They are typically every other month; please CALL or email to register and verify dates and times.
  • Home must be in St. Louis County.
  • You (and your immediate family members) must Live on-site.
  • The applicant must pay for a fire marshal inspection and pass the inspection. Your licensor prepares the request form.
  • If renting, the applicant must get permission from the landlord to have a fire inspection. The landlord must make any fire safety-related corrections at their own expense, including to any adjoining units in a multi-unit dwelling. Licensors have the form needed to document landlord permission for the fire marshal.
  • The applicant must pay for a criminal background check for themselves, every household member 13 and older and all substitute caregivers they intend to use. Everyone must pass the background check.
  • All household members must cooperate with a social history interview and submit a written autobiography.
  • Provide three references from non-relatives.
  • No more than four foster residents can be admitted; five are allowed if they’re all elderly residents over 55, none of whom have a primary diagnosis of mental illness or development delay.

Meeting your business responsibilities 

Operating an adult foster care home involves regulation and attention to business details spelled out in state statute or rule. County licensing staff can help you understand the requirements, but you have the ultimate responsibility to operate your home according to the rules of your license.

Agree to abide by state laws and county policies regulating adult foster care including accepting placements only through a county licensor.

Persons Needing Family AFC Support

Choosing family adult foster care allows a person to become part of a family in a family home. This allows residents to participate in family and community life. In family adult foster care, the primary caregiver remains the same for as long as a resident lives in the home, allowing the family to get to know the resident as a whole person. 

Persons generally appropriate for family adult foster care 

  • Will benefit from living in a family setting
  • Will be able to maintain activities of daily living, under supervision
  • Will need services, Team will develop a treatment plan and the placement agreement 
  • May have a goal to be involved in day programming, school, are employed, or engaged in some other kind of meaningful daytime activity 
  • May function at the moderate, mild, or borderline level of developmental disability
  • May have emotional or mental health problems for which the person is receiving appropriate treatment but are not acute at time of placement  
  • May be an elderly person unsafe in their own home and needing a Family Support System
  • May have physical limitations or impairments that require limited physical assistance with activities of daily living
  • May need and accept some supervision in basic living skills such as hygiene, cooking, or budgeting
  • May need support with taking prescribed medication
  • May be recovering from chemical dependency and following their recovery plan

Client needs and choices drive placement decisions; “person center planning” leads all home placements.  There is no guarantee of resident placements; providers are not employees or agents of the county.

Person Centered Approach to Crisis Management

The person centered approach to crisis management is a community collaboration to implement person centered responses to adults experiencing crisis and in need services and supports 

Objective: Our overarching goal is to develop a strong community collaboration where each partner in the process  provides person centered supports and services people in our community in need:  

  • Clarifies their role
  • Understands each of the other community partner’s roles and appropriately utilizes the services they provide
  • Engages in regular communication and feedback
  • Implements a standard for person centered responses to Adults in crisis
  • Coordinates services to effectively meet the needs of adults in crisis
  • Collects, analyzes and shares data to guide improvements in the systems involved (on a regular basis)


  • St. Louis County Adult Services
  • Law Enforcement (Duluth Police Department and St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department)
  • Adult Foster Care Providers
  • Hospitals (Essentia and St. Luke’s)
  • Birch Tree Center
  • Crisis Response Team (CRT)


Recent collaborative meetings have resulted in a Person Centered Incident Matrix intended to guide professionals in our community in our response to individuals in a crisis situation:

Person Centered Incident Matrix Manual (Microsoft Word Document) 
Person Centered Incident Matrix  (Microsoft Word Document)

In order to foster collaboration and good communication we ask that all Adult Foster Care Providers fill out a Premise Form every year or whenever there is a change in information and submit it to Law Enforcement. 

Premise Form  (Microsoft Word document)

Community Members With Concerns

Responsibilities of adult foster care providers
Adult foster care consists of qualified caregivers providing housing, meals, supervision and services based on the individual needs of a resident. Adults who live in adult foster care have chosen this kind of housing due to physical, emotional, developmental or mental health reasons. State law protects these adults from any type of mistreatment.
Anyone with a concern about a currently-licensed home
If you witness or suspect that a resident of a licensed adult foster home in St. Louis County is being abused or neglected, mistreated, call MAARC 844-880-1574 (toll free). *MN Adult Abuse Reporting Center. You can also view MAARC information online:Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center (MAARC)

You can also look up the status of an adult foster care license license (type of license, expiration date, and any negative action against the license holder) by entering the license holder’s name, address, city or county.

Visit the state licensing lookup  


For your convenience, we present the latest documents from our central document library. You can search and find the latest regarding adult foster care services.

To view any past, relevant documents pertaining to adult services, select Include Archives.  

Search Adult Foster Care Documents