Thinking about operating an adult care home for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD) in Multnomah County, Oregon? Review the following questions and answers for the most complete information. AFTER reviewing the information, contact staff listed at the bottom with your questions.

Due to a county-wide shortage of I/DD residents, the Adult Care Home Program no longer encourages new operators to apply for licenses to open DD adult care homes.

Who licenses DD Adult Care Homes?

Benefits of caring for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) in your home

What are Developmental Disabilities and Intellectual Disabilities?

Who will you support in your adult care home?

What kinds of situations are adults with I/DD living in BEFORE they are referred to Licensed DD Adult Care Homes?

What types of care and support are needed for adults with I/DD?

Extra expectations in addition to your Adult Care Home license requirements

Adult Care Home Providers are important member of each resident’s ISP (Individual Support Plan) Team!

How much are adult care home providers paid for supporting residents with I/DD?

How do adult care home providers get started working with Developmental Disabilities Services clients?

For your best chance of success . . .

How do placements happen for licensed DD Adult Care Homes?

What are DD Support Services Brokerages and when do they use DD Adult Care Homes?

Is there a different license for operating a home for people with I/DD than there is for operating a home for elderly or younger people with physical disabilities?

Are residents with different disabilities or from different agencies allowed to live in the same adult care home?

Tips for obtaining additional training and professional experience in working with adults with I/DD

For more information . . .

Who licenses DD Adult Care Homes in Multnomah County?

  • Multnomah County Adult Care Home Program (ACHP) licenses adult care homes for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) in Multnomah County, Oregon.
  • Multnomah County Administrative Rules (MCARs) for adult care homes govern the licensing and operation of adult care homes in Multnomah County, including licensed DD adult care homes.
  • Multnomah County is an exempt county as determined by the State Department of Human Resources, Seniors and People with Disabilities Division (SPD). An exempt county provides licensing and inspection of adult care homes that is equal to or exceeds requirements of state administrative rules.
  • Beginning in 2015, ACHP’s training curriculum and testing requirement for new licensed DD providers and their home caregivers is different from the training and testing for other adult care home providers licensed in Multnomah County.

Benefits of caring for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) in your home:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to share your family’s skills and strengths; 
  • Stay active with your residents as you enjoy community social events and activities together;
  • Receive excellent support, training, and resources through Multnomah County Developmental Disabilities Services Division
  • Delight in sincere, friendly companionship, and meeting a person’s need for acceptance and belonging;
  • Recharge while many residents go to work or spend time in the community through a structured program. 

What ARE Developmental Disabilities and Intellectual Disabilities?

Developmental Disabilities (or “DD”) are:

  • Conditions people are born with or obtain prior to age 22, such as cerebral palsy, autism, Aspergers, fetal alcohol syndrome, acquired brain injury, Down Syndrome, or epilepsy, and
  • Considered to be lifelong and cause significant delays in at least 2 areas of everyday functioning, such as communicating, grooming, dressing, safety and social skills, and
  • Diagnosed by a qualified doctor. 

Intellectual Disabilities (or “ID”) are:

  • Conditions that in the past may have been described as “mental retardation,”
  • Present when people have significantly below average intellectual and adaptive skills, as measured by a standardized test administered by a qualified psychologist, and 
  • Diagnosed for people with consistent IQ results of 75 or below with significant impairment in adaptive behavior, and
  • When the onset of the impairment occurs prior to age 18, and 
  • Diagnosed only when considered to be lifelong.

Who will you support in your adult care home?

Adults with I/DD . . .

What kinds of situations are adults with I/DD living in BEFORE they are referred to DD Licensed Adult Care Homes?

  • Their own homes with in-home supports that no longer meet their needs or preferences;
  • Homes they share with parents or other family members, where the living arrangement no longer is safe or feasible, OR the adult simply chooses to make a change;
  • Another adult foster care home or DD group home, from which a change is needed or wanted;
  • A nursing home, drug & alcohol rehabilitative facility, or medical or psychiatric hospitalization;
  • Homeless shelters or homeless with no safe place to stay;
  • County jail or state corrections facility;
  • Ready to move from a higher level of care at the State Crisis and Stabilization Unit for adults with I/DD to a less intensive home setting;
  • From Multnomah County or another location in the state of Oregon

What types of care and support are needed for adults with I/DD?

Placement Specialists look for . . .

  • Friendly and responsible supervision consistent with the person’s Individualized Support Plan (ISP);
  • Physical and emotional acceptance into a household or family;
  • Caring encouragement and support to performing daily tasks, such as personal hygiene, toileting, eating healthy meals, and other Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s);
  • Support in increasing their own abilities to safely live more independently in the home and community;
  • Managing behavior and emotions in positive ways;
  • Support to minimize risk of harm to themselves or others due to challenging behaviors or limitations in cognition;
  • Assistance preparing for employment or structured day activities;
  • Help in managing personal spending money;
  • Implementing medical, behavioral, and mental health support plans;
  • Coordinating and accompanying residents to medical and mental health appointments;
  • Managing and administering medication;
  • Facilitating active lifestyles, social/recreational activities in the home and the community;
  • Assisting residents to communicate their preferences, needs, and ideas to others, and to understand those kinds of communication from other people;
  • Sometimes, special assistance to achieve stability during a crisis or major transition in their lives, and help to assess next steps in their long term support plan;
  • Accommodations for pets or service animals

Extra expectations in addition to your Adult Care Home license requirements:

  • Implement closer levels of supervision in some or all situations for some residents, such as “one-to-one exclusive-focus” (which usually means being within visual AND hearing distance), within visual OR hearing distance, or within arm’s length;
  • Acknowledge the team’s need to balance the interest of each resident’s safety with the dignity of risk, to allow some residents to be unaccompanied in the community for specified periods of time;
  • Participate fully in Individualized Support Plan (ISP) team meetings and Support Needs Assessment Profiles (SNAP);
  • Document and communicate in a timely manner with DD Program Service Coordinators or Brokerage Personal Agents, nurses, behavior support specialists, and other team members about resident needs, supports, critical events, and patterns of behavior;
  • Facilitate phone calls, emails, and visits with family members, friends, and other service providers, reflecting the resident’s preferences, with their permission;
  • Navigate conflict among residents or between residents and other individuals in their lives;
  • Implement formal positive behavior support plans and track behavior incident data for behavior consultants, when residents need this type of support;
  • Comply with Standards & Procedures set by Office of Developmental Disabilities Services (ODDS) in order to be paid for services.

Adult Care Home Providers are important members of ISP

(Individual Support Plan) Teams for residents with I/DD!

The ISP Team is composed of:

  • The adult receiving services;
  • Representatives of all the adult’s current service providers;
  • The adult’s DD case manager;
  • The adult's legal guardian and/or advocate, if any;
  • Any others determined appropriate by the adult receiving services

The ISP process is designed to:

  • Reflect the Support Needs Assessment Profile (SNAP);
  • Identify types of services and supports necessary;
  • Identify the barriers to providing those preferred services;
  • Develop strategies for reducing the barriers;
  • Identify strategies to assist the adult in exercising his or her rights

Payments are made in 3 ways:

Room & Board Payment

  • $583/month in 2018
  • Paid from personal funds of each individual or his/her representative payee.
  • Source is usually SSI or SSDI, and very rarely, private funds
  • Amount established by federal government to pay for 3 nutritious meals and snacks/day, sleeping quarters, laundry and basic services such as heat, phone (land line), & water
  • NOT paid for “Relief Care” Placements

Service Payments

  • For care and support provided to residents;
  • Calculated as a monthly rate;
  • Paid by State of Oregon for long term placements; “long term” usually means “longer than 2 weeks”;
  • Vary widely: as low as $849, but higher when individuals require a higher amount of caregiver support during the day or night, or one-to-one “exclusive focus” supervision;
  • Higher Service Payment = more complex supports and/or more time in caregiver support;
  • Determined by a standardized State of Oregon resident needs assessment tool: Support Needs and Assessment Profile (“SNAP”);
  • SNAP is facilitated by a qualified staff member from the Multnomah County DD Services Division or the Region 1 Crisis Diversion Program ;
  • Information about the individual’s support needs is collected for the SNAP from a team of people who best know the individual;
  • Service Payment amounts and required supports are shared with adult care home providers BEFORE providers are asked to accept an individual as a resident in their home;
  • For some situations, a portion of a Service Payment is paid by the resident; (this is called “Client Offset”); “Client Offset” amount is determined by the State.

Relief Care Payments

  • For short term care and support provided in the absence of the regular caregiver;
  • Calculated as a daily rate for a 24-hour placement;
  • Services expected to be only for 14 days or fewer;
  • Supports determined by the ISP (Individualized Support Plan);
  • Rates established by the State of Oregon ODDS (in 2015, $232.25 per day);
  • Residents do not pay Room & Board or Client Offset to the adult care home;
  • Payments are authorized and paid by DD Brokerages or County DD Programs.

How do adult care providers get started working with Developmental Disabilities Services clients?

It is strongly suggested (but not required) that BEFORE you decide WHICH kind of adult care home license you want to pursue in Multnomah County, contact:

Multnomah County Adult Care Home Program
Phone: 503-988-3000

  • To discuss whether Developmental Disabilities Services is the right match for you. Compare your skills and experience with what is currently needed by adults with I/DD and what Placement Specialists look for.
  • Make contact with Multnomah County DDSD early in the licensing process! This is crucial in helping you decide whether you and your home can offer what is truly needed for supporting adults with I/DD.
  • Substantial experience in professional adult residential or foster home settings, focused on supporting people with I/DD and behavior support challenges, is the greatest need.
  • When you start the licensing process with the Adult Care Home Program, have a clear goal regarding the population focus you want for your home.

For your best chance of success . . .

  • Offer a good match in your home and skills to meet the needs of adults with I/DD
  • The more practical experience in I/DD focused residential settings, and training you have, the more success you’ll have in attracting referrals of individual residents into your home.
  • The more day-to-day experience, training, and success you can demonstrate in supporting people with complex and challenging behavioral or medical needs, the more likely you are to be successful in attracting referrals and maintaining stable residents.
  • It is often wiser to wait to open a licensed DD adult care home until you obtain additional work experience, specialized skills, and training.

You may contact
Adult Care Home Program
Phone: 503-988-3000

How do placements happen for licensed DD Adult Care Homes?

  1. Licensed DD adult care homes send an email to the Service Coordinator assigned to your home, or to the DDSD Program Specialist, briefly describing the home, services available, and interests in supporting residents;
  2. The DDSD Program Specialist will send a Vacancy Profile Form by email. Licensed adult care home providers complete the form thoroughly and send back to the DDSD Program Specialist.
  3. Staff of Multnomah County DD Services Division contact providers by phone or email if there is a potential match between the needs of an individual and the specific skills and environment in the home’s Vacancy Profile;
  4. County DDSD Service Coordinator or a Brokerage Personal Agent facilitates a personal visit between the provider and the adult referred;
  5. If the provider, the referred individual and their ISP team agree, the individual plans to move into the adult care home;
  6. County DDSD Service Coordinator or Brokerage Personal Agent coordinates the entry meeting and a written Individual Support Plan (ISP), whether it is for a long term, crisis stabilization, or relief care placement;
  7. The ISP outlines specific needs and support expectations for the adult care home placement;
  8. DD Service Coordinator monitor ongoing services identified in the ISP through regular contact with the individual and adult care home provider, assist in problem solving, facilitate future support assessments, and help access available additional supports.

What are DD Support Services Brokerages and when do they use DD Adult Care Homes?

  • Support Service Brokerages employ Personal Agents (comparable to County DD Service Coordinators) who help enrolled adults with I/DD to develop an Individualized Support Plan (ISP), obtain available funding and other resources necessary to implement the plan in their own or family home;
  • DD adult clients have a choice of receiving their In-Home Support Services through Brokerages or County DD Programs;
  • Support Service Brokerages help their adult clients select Personal Support Workers, Independent Contractors, or Agencies to provide specific supports, complete needs assessments, and evaluate the outcomes of delivered services;
  • Brokerage clients may need “Relief Care” (also known as “respite care”).
    • Relief Care is an intermittent service provided in the temporary absence of the adult’s primary caregiver, or sometimes in the event of a crisis;
    • Although not required, Relief Care may be provided by a licensed adult care home operator;
    • Relief Care can be provided hourly or on a 24-Hour Basis; 24-Hour hour relief care cannot exceed 7 consecutive days or 14 days total per year, without permission from the State ODDS;
    • The Brokerage Personal Agent (or County Service Coordinator) and the individual, or the legal representative of the individual, must document that the specific adult foster home is a safe Relief Care setting for the individual;
    • The care needs and number of Relief Care residents must be within the classification and capacity of the adult care home license;
    • DD Brokerage Personal Agents must first obtain written permission from the Multnomah County DD Program before referring brokerage clients for Relief Care to DD licensed adult care homes;
    • Relief Care rates are set by the State ODDS and paid by the Brokerage.

Is there a different license for operating a home for people with I/DD than there is for operating a home for elderly or younger people with physical disabilities?


In Multnomah County all licenses are issued by the Adult Care Home Program (ACHP), but licensing criteria differs for each specific population, such as Mental Health, Aging & People with Disabilities, or Developmental Disabilities;

License applicants must choose a specific population and meet the specific licensing criteria.

Are residents with different disabilities or from different agencies allowed to live in the same adult care home?


The Exception Process includes:

  • An Interagency Placement Assessment, with an individual risk assessment on each resident;
  • Review by each resident’s case manager;
  • Approval by the ACHP Licenser;
  • Adult Care Home operator’s commitment to responsibly promote a harmonious and safe mix of individual residents within the home;
  • Consideration by the home operator of risks, activity and “lifestyle” factors of all the residents in the home before attempting a mix.

Tips for obtaining additional training and professional experience in working with adults with I/DD

Job experience:

Direct day-to-day work experience, especially with guidance from skilled mentors, in-person, with adults who have intellectual/developmental disabilities is extremely valuable preparation for becoming a DD Adult Care Home Operator.

  • Check or popular job search websites where applicable openings may be posted, (such as Craigslist, Indeed, Glassdoor, Monster, Career Jet, CareerBuilder, SimplyHired, etc.);
  • Enter “direct support professional jobs” and similar search terms to look for jobs specifically working with people with developmental disabilities;
  • Explore job opportunities with existing DD licensed adult foster care homes;
  • Look for paid work opportunities with agencies that provide residential (group home and supported living), recreational, or employment supports to adults with I/DD;
  • Focus your job search specifically on supporting adults who have more intense behavior support needs, autism, or co-occurring mental health diagnoses.
  • Check the list of Support Service Brokerages:
  • Support Services Brokerages assist their clients to connect with independent contractors who meet qualifications to provide support in the person’s own home;
  • WHEN CONSIDERING VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES to gain work experience with individuals who have I/DD:
    • Remember your work experience must be documented and verifiable when you apply for a DD adult care home license;
    • Make certain you and the organization document
      • WHAT kind of work you did,
      • WHERE you performed the work
      • HOW LONG you volunteered each time
      • WHAT SUPPORT NEEDS the individuals had

Training & Networking:

For more information:

Read all information on this webpage, then write down your questions before making contact.

Adult Care Home Program
Phone: 503-988-3000