Residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFEs) are a type of housing for seniors. These homes typically provide 24-hour supervision and help with activities of daily living such as hygiene, grooming, housekeeping services, medication assistance, transportation to appointments, and more. These facilities also provide social interaction and community-building activities for residents.
Requirements for an RCFE License
As of January 1st, 2018, all administrators working with RCFEs must have an Administrator certification and meet their state’s criteria for RCFE licensing.
In California, anyone wanting to operate an RCFE needs to become a certified RCFE administrator and have the facility itself licensed. First, certification as a Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE) administrator requires a candidate to meet certain requirements through education and training.
The first step towards RCFE licensing is earning a bachelor’s degree from a school approved by California’s Department of Social Services (CDSS). Generally speaking, students can earn their degree online with some restrictions so long as they attend classes on at least 8 weekends or 10 days during one quarter per year through an approved California educational institution.
Next, certification as an RCFE administrator requires successful completion of 80 hours of approved training and education within three years prior to applying for licensure. There are several training providers that offer the required education and some organizations like the California Association of Health Facilities (CAHF) provide a list of courses and instructors on their website. Finally, state licensing as an RCFE administrator is possible by filing an application with CDSS.
How to Apply
Applications must include all relevant information such as current certifications and transcripts from any schools attended showing degrees earned along with proof of fingerprints submitted for background checks, which can be completed at the applicant’s expense through private companies.
Once someone becomes certified and licensed as an RCFE administrator, they must renew their certification and license every year. All renewal applications require the same documents previously mentioned along with proof of continuing education within the past year. There are two ways to complete this requirement:
1) Take at least 10 hours of approved continuing education courses through a training provider approved by CDSS
2) Judge up to 20 hours of relevant professional development activities such as peer group meetings, attending conferences, consulting on facility design or regulatory compliance with an expert in that field. Upon completion of one’s initial application for licensure, California provides a worksheet for accountants to complete regarding the RCFE facilities they oversee.
In general, applicants will report on financial information from the most recent three years including start-up costs and total revenue. In addition, the person applying as administrator will need to provide all documents used for licensure as an RCFE administrator along with contacts for professional references and a list of managers or employees who have worked at least five years in elder care. Finally, applicants must file a self-disclosure form concerning any potential conflicts that might emerge from employment within a facility they oversee.
InsureMyRCFE is Here to Help
Professional associations can also be helpful resources when navigating California’s licensing requirements for RCFE administrators. For example, the Residential Care Association of America (RCAA) offers free assistance to those searching for training opportunities through their Home and Community Education Program. The CAHF is another strong resource specifically targeting professionals working within California’s residential care system including facilities geared towards serving people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
To learn about the top-quality insurance services we provide for RCFEs across California, please give us a call at (805) 413-5668 or contact us through our website.