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Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Division of Quality Assurance
(608) 266-8481

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Wisconsin Adult Family Homes - Information

Statistics on Assisted Living Facilities

Information for Staff and Management of Adult Family Homes

For persons who seek small congregate care settings, Adult Family Homes (AFHs) are designed to house up to four persons. These homes are licensed under Chapter DHS 88 (exit DHS), Wisconsin Administrative Code.

An AFH is defined as "a place where three or four adults who are not related to the operator reside and receive care, treatment or services that are above the level of room and board and that may include up to seven hours per week of nursing care per resident."

Counties certify one- and two-bed adult family homes.

AFHs can admit people of advanced age, persons with dementia, developmental disabilities, mental health problems, physical disabilities, traumatic brain injury, AIDS, Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse, correctional clients, pregnant women needing counseling and/or the terminally ill.

The minimum age requirement for residing in an AFH is 18 years. 

The licensing process for an AFH includes submission of a completed application, including a biennial fee of $171. Once the application is submitted and reviewed, the facility is visited by a licensing specialist.

A notification of licensure or denial of license will be issued within 70 days of receipt of the completed application and visit.

All AFHs must adhere to Chapters DHS 12 and DHS 13 (exit DHS), Wisconsin Administrative Code Caregiver Background Checks and Allegation Reporting.

State licensing specialists inspect AFHs every two years, via unannounced surveys. However, a facility may be visited between these inspections, if there are any complaints received by the department.

For AFHs that are not in compliance with State laws governing them, the penalty under Chapter 50, Wis. Stats., (exit DHS) is to revoke their license.

Last Updated: June 05, 2013