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Adult Foster Care: Valuable Help for the Parents of Disabled Children

Adult Foster Care (a/k/a Adult Family Care), or AFC, is a MassHealth program that can help you with the caregiving of your disabled loved one. It is available to anyone age 16 or over who is on MassHealth or CommonHealth.AFC adults live with trained paid caregivers who provide daily care. The caregiver providesspecial-needs-trust-planning-legal-guide1.png meals, companionship, personal care assistance, and 24-hour support. The caregiver must live with the AFC recipient, and effectively functions as their parent. Importantly, a parent can serve as the AFC caregiver for their own child, so long as that parent is not also serving as the child’s court-appointed guardian.


The caregiver receives a tax-free stipend from MassHealth of about $9,000 a year per person for Level I care (needs assistance with one or more ADL skills), and about $19,000 a year for Level II care (needs assistance three or more ADLs, or two ADLs plus a behavioral element).

The activities of daily living (ADLs) are:

  • Eating
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Toileting
  • Ambulating
  • Transferring

Level II is for people who need assistance with three or more ADLs; or two or more ADLs, plus caregiver intervention for one or more of these behaviors: wandering, resisting care, being physically or verbally abusive, or displaying socially inappropriate or disruptive behavior.


Among other things, the AFC caregiver will be responsible for the following:

  • prepare meals and snacks
  • assist with personal care
  • provide behavior interventions as needed
  • provide medication reminders and assistance
  • do shopping, laundry, and housekeeping
  • provide transportation to medical appointments and social visits
  • maintain a clean safe living space
  • keep a caregiver log

In addition to the financial stipend, the caregiver will receive support and training, home visits by social workers and registered nurses, and respite help (up to 14 days per year).

AFC is provided by local service providers, rather than by MassHealth itself. In order to find out if your loved one qualifies for AFC, contact your local provider (see HERE for a list of providers) and they will come to your home to do an assessment.

For legal assistance in connection with Adult Foster Care, contact Karen B. Mariscal.

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