Page Reviewed / Updated – July 25, 2020

Program Description

The Maryland Project Home, also referred to as the Certified Adult Residential Environment (C.A.R.E.) program, provides adult foster care for seniors with limited functioning who are residents of the state of Maryland. Elderly individuals, who cannot live alone, can continue to live in the community in a safe, familiar setting instead of turning to an institutional care environment. According to foster care program rules, up to four enrolled individuals can live in the same licensed foster care home at the same time.

In addition to accommodations, meals and supervision is provided. Through Maryland Project Home, foster homes are licensed though the Maryland Department of Social Services, and case management is provided. Additional services may include the monitoring of medication, transportation to medical appointments, assistance with daily activities, such as grooming and dressing oneself, and social activities.

Unfortunately, under Project Home family members are not eligible to be paid foster care providers for their loved ones.

This program is administered by the Department of Social Services, and if an individual is eligible, is funded by the state through the Public Assistance to Adults (PAA) grant via the Department of Human Resources.

Eligibility Guidelines

In addition to being a Maryland resident, persons must meet the following criteria to participate in this program:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Must have a documented disability (yet not so severe that one cannot function in a home environment)
  • If medication is needed, the participant must be able to self-medicate or be able to do so with prompts.
  • Must have less than $2,000 in assets, including checking accounts, CDs, IRAs, life insurance policies, and cash. A house does not count as an asset as long as it is on the market, and once it is sold, the money needs to be paid to the state to cover the cost of the foster care. Cars are not counted as assets.

Make note, there is no income limit for enrollment in this program, but there are program fees eligible applicants are asked to cover. That being said, there are four levels of care provided, which range in monthly cost from $776 – $1,376. (These costs have remained the same for the last several years.) For those who do not have the funds to pay for care via this program, assistance with applying for Public Assistance to Adults (PPA), which can help cover the costs, is provided. In order to be eligible for the PPA program, an individual may not have monthly income greater than $1,376 in 2020.

While not relevant to the program participant, there are also eligibility criteria for the care provider.  Persons (including family friends) can serve as adult foster care hosts if they are 21 years of age, can make ends meet without the program’s payments, and are willing to work with the state to receive training and a license.

Benefits and Services

With the Maryland Project Home Adult Foster Care program, eligible seniors receive housing, meals, and supervision in a safe, supervised setting. Assistance with tasks, such as moving from one location to another, cooking, shopping, budgeting, and remembering to take medications, is provided, as well as transportation to and from doctors’ appointments. As mentioned previously, social activities are also available through this program.

A caseworker evaluates the eligible individual to determine strengths, weaknesses, and the unmet needs of the individual. Social workers determine the services needed and write up a plan of action. (A reassessment is done a minimum of every six months). Services are available through the Maryland Department of Human Resources, which may also make referrals to other community agencies.

Most individuals do receive assistance with the financial cost of this program. All of an eligible person’s income, with the exception of $102 for personal needs, goes to cover the cost of foster care.

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How to Apply / Learn More

Limited additional information is available about the Project Home Adult Foster Care program here.

Persons interested in becoming CARE providers (adult foster care hosts) can download a brochure here.

Persons can apply at their local Department of Social Services. Click here to find the closest office to you. There may be a waitlist for Project Home. Priority is not on a first come, first serve basis. Those that are at risk of being institutionalized, has a family caregiver who is over 60 years old, or is at risk of being abused or neglected are given the greatest priority.

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