DCF Licensing Unit
The DCF Licensing Unit is responsible for the licensing of four categories of services delivered to children and their families throughout the state of Connecticut. Each of the four licensing categories has its own requirements, so it is important for license applicants to know them. For information on licensing for each of these categories follow the links below:
- Child Caring Facilities (Residential Treatment, Residential Education, Temporary Shelters, Group Homes, and Safe Homes);
- Child Placing Agency
- Extended Day Treatment
- Outpatient Psychiatric Clinic for Children
In addition, there are some requirements and procedures that are common across the different license categories, and those can be accessed through the links below.
- Agency Regulations
- Approved Emergency Safety Intervention Training Programs
- Authorization for: Exceed Licensed Bed Capacity, or Age Range Waiver (DCF-2153)
- DCF Licensing Application Process
- DCF Licensed Programs, Facilities and Out-of-State Approved Adoption Agencies
- Verify a child day care, practitioner or other license
NOTE: DCF Foster and Adoptive Homes are licensed by DCF Area Office staff who work in the Foster and Adoption Services Unit (FASU). For more information call 1-888-KID-HERO, or visit the Foster Care and Adoption website.
Jim McPherson, Program Manager
Email: Jim McPherson@ct.gov
Licensing Categories of Child Caring Facilities
Child Caring Facility Definition: A “child-care facility” is a congregate residential setting for the out-of-home placement of children or youth under eighteen years of age, licensed by the Department. There are five types of child caring facilities receiving licenses.
Group Home: A “group home” is a facility that meets long-term community-based placement needs during which the facility attempts to transition the child toward reunification with family, independent living or long-term foster care. Clinical and medical services are generally provided on an outpatient basis and educational services are provided by attendance in public or private school programs arranged by the child’s school district. The Department licenses three types of group homes:
- Therapeutic Group Home: Therapeutic group homes are designed to serve children with significant behavioral health or developmental issues. The program design calls for clinical services provided in the home by licensed mental health professionals. On-going monitoring of psychotropic medications is provided on-site by a psychiatrist employed by the licensee. Limited nursing services are provided in the home with community based medical services being utilized for well-child care, as well as on-going care of medical issues.
- SWET Group Homes: SWET (Supported Work Education and Training) group homes allow youth to live in a supervised apartment setting with other youth in an independent living environment. Residents are responsible for all of their own cooking, shopping, and cleaning with child care staff providing support for life skills development. All clinical and medical services are provided by community providers, and residents attend public school settings or other educational settings as arranged for by the child’s school district.
Residential Treatment Center: A “residential treatment center” is a facility that meets long-term placement needs and provides clinical treatment of psychiatric, behavioral and emotional disorders. Clinical treatment is provided on site in a therapeutic setting. Medical services are provided by the facility by nursing and child care staff. All other medical care is provided by hospitals or community based medical professionals. Educational services are provided by the facility whenever required in accordance with procedures developed jointly by the department and the state Department of Education
Residential Education Facility: A "residential education facility” is a facility that provides for the long-term housing needs of students who are participating in a residential special education school. Educational services are provided on site in a school that is certified by the state Department of Education as a special education school. Limited medical services are provided by the facility by nursing and child care staff. Such facilities are designed to meet the long-term educational needs of the students.
Temporary Shelter: A “temporary shelter” is a facility that meets short-term emergency placement needs during which the facility attempts to stabilize, assess and prepare the child for a more permanent placement. Clinical and medical services are provided on an outpatient basis and educational services are provided by short-term in-house tutoring or attendance in public or private school programs arranged by the child’s school district. There are two types of short-term emergency placement programs licensed by the Department:
- STAR Homes: A Short Term Assessment and Respite Home is a temporary congregate care program that provides short-term care, assessment and a range of clinical and nursing services to children removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or other high-risk circumstances. Staff will provide empathic professional care for youth within a routine of daily activities which is similar to a nurturing family structure. The youth will receive assessment services, educational support, significant levels of structure and support, and care coordination related to family reunification, foster care, congregate care, or other discharge planning as appropriate.
- Crisis Stabilization Program: There are two Crisis Stabilization Programs licensed in the state. These programs provide intensive, 24-hour short-term placement and intervention for youth ages 11-17 who are at immediate risk due to a deteriorating psychiatric condition or unsafe, volatile family situation. The primary goals of the program are to de-escalate the current crisis; assist the youth and family in reestablishing a safe living situation in the community; prevent placement disruption; decrease inappropriate utilization of hospital emergency departments; and involve parents, guardians and youth in the treatment planning process. Services include: a multi-disciplinary assessment, psychiatric assessment if indicated, solution-focused individual, family, and group therapy, psycho-educational skill building groups, substance abuse screening as indicated, and intensive case management and advocacy with a multi-systems perspective.
- SFIT: Short-Term Family Integrated Treatment service is a short-term residential treatment option providing crisis stabilization and assessment, with rapid reintegration and transition back home. The primary goal of the program is to: stabilize the youth and family (adoptive, biological, foster, kin, relative) and their extended social system; assess the family’s current strengths and needs; identify and mobilize community resources; and, coordinate services to ensure rapid reintegration into the home. It is an alternative to psychiatric hospitalizations and admissions to higher levels of care, and diverts placement disruptions.
Connecticut State Police Criminal Background Checks
DCF Protective Services Background Checks (DCF-3031)
DCF Medication Administration Certification Training
Medically Complex Program and Training
Child Placing Agencies
Child Care License List [This is a link to the Office of Early Childhood]
Extended Day Treatment Facilities
Outpatient Psychiatric Clinics for Children
Out-of-State Approved Adoption Agencies
Residential Child Caring Agencies and Facilities
For information on CHILD DAY CARE LICENSING, please contact the Office of Early Childhood Phone: 1-800-282-6063 or 860-509-8045
Based on the Committee’s reviews, the following ESI training programs are approved without conditions:
Crisis Consulting Group (CCG)
- Non-Abusive Psychological and Physical Intervention (NAPPI)
- Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI)
- Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI)
- Safe Crisis Management (SCM)
- Justice Resource Institute (JRI)-Building Communities of Care
- The Mandt System Inc.
- Professional Crisis Management Association
The following ESI training programs are approved with the specified conditions:
- Pro-ACT: Approved for standing holds and escorts only. The floor hold is not approved as it involves a take-down maneuver which places a client in a prone position before moving the resident to a supine position.
- Devereux Safe and Positive Approaches: Approved with the additional requirement that the use of the pressure point bite release be separately reported to DCF Licensing when utilized.
- Physical/Psychological Management Training (PMT): Approved with the condition that evidence be submitted to document implementation of the plan of correction.
- North American Family Institute (NAFI): Approved with the additional condition that the use of the bite release technique involving the holding of the nose of the resident be reported to DCF Licensing.