Who Can Apply?

Do you think you have what it takes to be a Family Care Provider? 

You can be married or single; a man or a woman; you can own or rent your home, apartment or mobile home. Prior experience with people with developmental disabilities is not required, although preferred. The most important requirement is your family’s willingness to provide the caring, understanding and security that a person with developmental disabilities needs. A Family Care home provides an extended, supportive family for people, helping them to become productive and active members of their community and develop meaningful relationships.

Operating certificates for Family Care are issued through OPWDD’s Division of Quality Improvement once you complete the training, and you meet all standard requirements and your home passes a safety inspection.

The standard requirements are:

  • Age 21 or older
  • No history of Class A, B or C felony conviction
  • Valid driver's license or access to reliable transportation
  • Successful completion of all background checks for the applicant and all household members, age 18 and older
  • Successful completion of all required training, provided by the sponsoring agency
  • Successful completion of a home study and safety inspection



Perhaps the most important benefit that you as a Family Care Provider experiences is the knowledge that you are making the difference in the life of a person with developmental disabilities. You not only share your life with the person/persons placed in your home, but your life is enriched, as well, as you share in their successes, challenges and experiences.

As a Family Care Provider, you are a respected member of a team of professionals and receive some of the benefits that go along with that, including regular training to gain new skills and abilities.

As a Family Care Provider, you would also receive reimbursement for each person who lives in your home, including room and board; payment for providing residential habilitation services; and reimbursement for mileage for medical appointments. Emergency respite is also available, if needed.


The process of becoming a certified Family Care Provider starts at your home with an initial site visit and home study. This will include family member interviews and an open discussion during which your family members can have additional program questions answered.

After the initial visit, you must complete an LS-22 Application for Certification. Once you submit the completed application, a safety inspection will be scheduled.

You and any household members age 18 and over will need to be cleared through the New York State Central Register for Child Abuse and Maltreatment, Staff Exclusion List and the Medicaid Exclusion List and submit to a criminal history record check.

All drivers must enroll in the License Event Notification System, which notifies OPWDD of any suspension, revocation, conviction or other limitations on your driver’s license. All information is kept confidential. 

Other requirements include both employer and personal reference checks; proof of adequate household income; physician approval; and completion of a training program.