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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.

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Residential Care & School Facilities (Group Care)

Environmental Health

The purpose of the Group Care Program is to lower the risk of illness and injuries in a group-type setting by routine inspection of these facilities. Children, elderly and ill persons that live in group care facilities are at a higher risk for illness. Inspections ensure good sanitary and safety practices related to the construction, operation and maintenance of group care facilities in order to reduce the risk of transmitting illness to residents, workers, and visitors.

While the Florida Department of Health in Indian River County (DOH-Indian River) does not license these facilities, we are responsible for conducting physical plant-sanitation inspections of the following:

  • Private, charter and public schools
  • Adult Family Care Homes (AFCH) licensed through Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA)
  • Assisted Living Facilities (ALF) licensed through AHCA
  • Crisis stabilization units
  • Homes for special services
  • Hospice
  • Intermediate care facilities
  • Residential treatment facilities licensed by AHCA
  • Short-term residential treatment centers licensed by Department of Children and Families (DCF)
  • Transitional living facilities
  • Child caring agencies operating in Indian River County

These facilities may also require food service or limited use drinking water permits. If a facility is using an onsite sewage treatment & disposal system (OSTDS) for wastewater disposal, contact our office on what information is needed on the system. If the facility’s estimated flow rate increases or if there is a change of ownership, it may be determined after an inspection that a modification of the OSTDS is required. Commercial kitchens may require an annual operating permit for the OSTDS in addition to a food service permit. Please see the food service, OSTDS and grease trap pages of this website.

New facilities and other facilities with changes in information should complete a Group Care/School Inspection Request Form and submit it with the applicable fees (fee information located on inspection request form).

Please visit the Florida Department of Health Group Care Facilities webpage for more information on the Group Care Facility program.

Food Service Plan Review Requirements

  • Tier I residential facilities outlined in Chapter 64E-12, Florida Administrative Code (FAC) that have a capacity of 5 or less persons are not required to submit for a food service plan review. Adult Family Care Homes regardless of size are not Tier I facilities.
  • Tier II residential facilities as outlined in Chapter 64E-12, FAC that have capacity of 6-10 persons are required to submit for Food Service Plan Review and receive approval before opening of the facility. This process also pertains to renovations of these facilities. These facilities are not issued a separate food service permit.
  • Tier III residential facilities as outlined in Chapter 64E-12, FAC that have capacity of 11 or more persons are required to obtain a separate food service permit from our office and are required to submit for Food Service Plan Review. Hospice facilities regardless of size are considered Tier III facilities.

Other Resources
For your convenience please we have included some useful forms and resources:

*Note: This page contains materials in the Portable Document Format (PDF). The free Adobe Acrobat Reader may be required to view these files.