When it becomes necessary to seek residential care for a loved one that cannot be provided at home, we want to seek out a reputable facility that is in compliance with applicable state laws. A “personal care home” is defined as a residence offering protective care and oversight of a person who needs a watchful environment but does not have an illness, injury or disability requiring chronic or convalescent care, such as medical or nursing services.
The Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) has primary responsibility for the licensing of individuals and facilities providing personal care services. Contact DCH regarding an operator you believe to be unauthorized to perform the services offered. You may use their online form to file a complaint about an unlicensed provider or licensed facility or service.
Please note that DCH may authorize certain services under a waiver, and a personal care home may advertise these as provided in O.C.G.A. Section 31-2-4(b). DCH also has the option of requiring personal care homes with two or three beds for non-family adults to comply with departmentally-devised standards and registration requirements in lieu of licensure [O.C.G.A. Section 31-7-12(b)].
Although the Department of Community Health has primary responsibility for issues relating to licensure of any individual or facility providing personal care services, a facility that is not duly licensed or registered as a personal care home also violates the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act when it advertises or solicits publicly for residents or referrals, whether formally or informally. Licensed personal care homes violate the act if they offer, solicit or advertise that they provide services outside the scope of services that personal care homes are legally allowed to provide.