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Department of Community Services

Homes for Special Care Licence

Who Needs This Licence?
  Anyone who wants to operate a Home for Special Care as prescribed in the licence issued by the Department of Community Services. Such homes provide residential care and programming adults with intellectual/physical disabilities or long term mental illness.[See Additional Information below for a more detailed explanation.]

Note: This does not include homes / services such as Homes for the Aged, Licensed Nursing Homes and Residential Care Facilities who provide services to seniors; they are operated by the N.S. Department of Health and Wellness.
 
Issuing Department / Agency:
  N.S. Department of Community Services

Note: Licences for Homes for the Aged, Licensed Nursing Homes and Residential Care Facilities for seniors are issued by the Department of Health and Wellness.
 
Where can you apply for this Licence and / or further information?
 

Family and Community Supports Division
Services for Persons with Disabilities Section
N.S. Department of Community Services

Toll-Free Telephone: 1-844-896-2494

Website:  http://www.novascotia.ca/coms/licensing
E-mail enquiries: WEBCOMS@novascotia.ca

Office Location:
Nelson Place
5675 Spring Garden Road
4th Floor
Halifax, NS B3J 1H1

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 696
Halifax, NS B3J 2T7
 
Application Forms & Process:
 

An application form can be obtained from the Persons with Disabilities Section of the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services. The applicant must be able to prove the need for a home in the proposed area.

The next step is that a letter of approval in principle is issued by the Minister of Community Services

After reviewing the complete application, the licensing officer who is assigned to your facility will complete an initial inspection of the facility.  If all requirements are met, a license will be recommended.

If all licensing conditions are met and the application is approved, the licence will be sent to the applicant by mail.
 

Waiting Period:
  Variable. Upon receipt of completed licensing application, an initial license will be issued within 10 business days.
 
Expiry & Renewal:
  This licence is valid for 5 years from the date it is issued, and is renewable.  
Price:
  Free
 
Related Requirements:
  Inspection by:
1.  Labour and Advanced Education : Office of the Fire Marshal;
2.  Public Drinking Water Supply Registration. Nova Scotia Environment;
3.  Food and Healthy Living Food Safety Section, N.S. Department of Agriculture;
4.  Emergency Measures Organization consultation.
 
Additional Information:
  All new homes must receive ministerial approval before proceeding with the development of a facility.

The applicant must meet all conditions, including fire and life safety standards, imposed by the Office of the Fire Marshal, N.S. Labour and Advanced Education.

The licence must be renewed after 5 years.

The homes provide residential care and programming to adults (over 18) who are unable to meet their own care needs.

For detailed information on starting a Home for Special Care, the Act and Regulations are available from Government Publications.

Homes for Special Care currently administered by the N.S. Department of Community Services are as follows:
  1. Residential Care Facility provide a residential support option to four or more ambulatory or semi-ambulatory individuals with disabilities who require minimal support and supervision with routine personal-care activities, community skills and activities, and illness supervision. Individuals are provided with limited direct support/supervision and do not have major health or behavioural needs. Support needs are primarily limited to assistance with personal care. RCF’s primarily serve younger adults with a diagnosis of one or more of the following: intellectual disability, long-term mental illness, or physical disability.
  2. Adult Residential Centres are facilities that provide long-term structured supports and services to individuals with disabilities to enhance their development of interpersonal community oriented skills and activities of daily living. Approved staffing is provided on a 24-hour / 7 day a week basis by on-site professional staff.
  3. Regional Rehabilitation Centres provide both rehabilitation and developmental programs to individuals with disabilities who require an intensive level of support and supervision related to complex behavioral challenges and skill development needs. Approved staffing is provided on a 24 hour / 7 day a week basis by on-site professional staff.
  4. Group Homes and Developmental Residences provide a continuum of developmental rehabilitation programs for individuals with disabilities within a small (6-12 people) residential setting. Developmental Residences and Group Homes emphasize the development of interpersonal, community oriented skills, and activities of daily living. Group Homes primarily serve younger adults with a diagnosis of one or more of the following: intellectual disability, long-term mental illness, or physical disability. Developmental Residences primarily serve younger adults with a diagnosis of intellectual disability or dual diagnosis.
Legislative Authority:
  Homes for Special Care Act, Statutes of Nova Scotia, 1989, Chapter 203
 



Last Updated: April 2015

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