Promoting and protecting the health and safety of all Idahoans

Certified Family Home Program - Provider Page

Certified Family Homes (CFH) provide a safe, family-style living environment for adults who need some assistance with the activities of daily living, but do not require a more restrictive institutional setting. Usually there are one or two adult residents in a CFH.  Each resident has a tailored care plan designed to meet their individual needs and to ensure they have the opportunity to participate in community activities.  The CFH is operated by a provider who has received the appropriate training and demonstrated the knowledge and experience to provide safe and effective services to the residents.  There are over 2,500 Certified Family Homes in communities across the state.

Please see our brochure for more information: 

Link to Consumer Page

Announcements and Alerts

June 19, 2020

Plan for Resuming Field Work (Home Visits)

Letter from the Program Manager
Plan for Resuming Field Work 

Resuming field work will not be a return to “business as usual.” The CFH Management Team must adapt to working safely under pandemic conditions. To promote and protect the health and safety of residents, providers, their households, and certifying agents, the Department of Health and Welfare has developed a plan for resuming field work under strict guidelines.

June 15, 2020


Clarification on Timing of DHW Criminal History and Background Check Renewal

Since the email was sent last week about renewing clearances of DHW criminal history and background checks, there have been many CFH providers who immediately went about the renewal process. While I very much appreciate your willingness to comply with the new rule going into effect, the promptness of those efforts is resulting in a bottle-neck and causing panic for providers who are unable to find an available fingerprinting appointment at this time. To ease the minds of those unable to make a fingerprinting appointment at this time, please understand that the CFH Management Team is taking a “soft” approach to enforcement of the new rule. A soft approach means that for the first year, certifying agents will merely be giving technical assistance (which is advice on how to be in compliance with rules) to providers whose clearances are older than five (5) years. Receiving technical assistance does not prevent you from being recertified. Certifying agents will only cite outdated clearances as formal deficiencies when a CFH provider had been given technical assistance regarding this matter during the previous recertification survey and failed to follow through.

The bottom line is that there is plenty of time for CFH providers to renew their DHW criminal history and background check clearances before an outdated clearance effects a CFH certificate. Certifying agents will only begin citing deficiencies for outdated clearances after July 1, 2021. Thank you again for the attention you give to complying with CFH rules. Please reach out to your regional certifying agent should you have further questions.


New Rules Effective July 1, 2020
Last spring, the Department of Health and Welfare held negotiated rulemaking meetings to gather public input for Docket No. 16-0319-1901, which proposed these two additions to CFH rule:
  • A recurring criminal history and background check every five (5) years through the department’s Criminal History Unit for CFH providers, their substitute caregivers, and other adults living in their homes (except the residents receiving care); and
  • Include revocation or denial of a child care license (e.g., foster care license, day care license, etc.) as a reason to deny an application for a CFH certificate.

Besides the negotiated rulemaking meetings, these proposed rules were also discussed in several 2019 meetings with the Community Care Advisory Council (CCAC), which consists of stakeholders representing interests in the certified family home and residential care/assisted living industries. Having the support of the CCAC, and hearing no opposition to the proposals during the public comment period, the Board of Health and Welfare adopted Docket No. 16-0319-1901 last November, and the Idaho legislature approved the docket during the 2020 legislative session. For the full text of Docket No. 16-0319-1901, please see pages 1217-1221 of the Senate Health & Welfare Committee’s Pending Rules Review Book. These new rules go into effect on July 1, 2020.

Certifying agents will begin surveying to the new requirements beginning in July. As part of recertifying each CFH over the next year, certifying agents will search the Criminal History Unit’s database for the provider, substitute caregivers, and any other adults living in the home (except for residents) to determine when they last cleared a department criminal history and background check. It is important that each person falling into categories be listed on the Renewal Application. If the last clearance for the CFH program was earlier than five (5) years ago, certifying agents will give providers technical assistance about compliance with the new rule. Providers who receive technical assistance should take steps to comply within 30 days. The certifying agent will then verify compliance at the provider’s next survey.

The Criminal History Unit is taking fingerprints by appointment or mail-in only at this time. To begin a new check, log on to and complete a new application. The Agency Code or Employer ID to use for the CFH program is 1104. Should you have questions about the department’s criminal history and background check process, please contact the Criminal History Unit at 1-800-340-1246.

On a related note, there were preliminary discussions about moving the CFH program from a standard check to an enhanced check, which would require rule changes to IDAPA 16.05.06, “Criminal History and background Checks.” Enhanced checks include information from other states’ adult protection and child protection agencies, as well as child protection complaints substantiated at Level 3 in Idaho. At this time, the governor has ordered that only vital changes be made to Administrative Code, so the proposal for a move to an enhanced check is postponed, but will be revisited at a later time. However, the CFH Management Team is working more closely with the
Division of Family and Community Services to ensure that both children and vulnerable adults are not endangered.

April 29, 2020, 9:45 a.m.

COVID-19 Resource Guide by Region (Idaho and National Resources)

April 14, 2020, 12:21 p.m.

Residents’ Stimulus Payments
Like all adult citizens in the United States, residents receiving services in certified family homes may shortly receive an Economic Impact Payment from the Internal Revenue Service. Certified Family Home (CFH) providers are to follow the same rules regarding these funds as any other income the resident may receive, be it from Social Security, a job, inheritance, gifts, etc. This means continuing to charge the resident for monthly CFH services in the amount agreed to in the resident’s Admission Agreement, honoring the resident’s right to the Basic Needs Allowance (if a Medicaid participant), and, if the provider is deemed to be managing the resident’s funds, following the rules at IDAPA As ever, should the CFH provider wish to change the charges to the resident for services, the provider must inform the resident (or the resident’s representative) in writing at least 15 calendar days in advance (or longer, as specified in the Admission Agreement). If the resident (or resident’s representative) does not agree to the change in CFH charges, the parties must decide whether or not to continue the admission. Either party may give the other a 30-day written notice to terminate the Admission Agreement at any time; however, the provider may not violate the resident’s right to be free from manipulation by pressuring the resident to agree to a change in the charges for CFH services or face eviction from the home. Please contact your regional certifying agent with questions regarding compliance with CFH rules in relation to resident funds.

If there are questions about how the stimulus payment may impact the resident’s continued eligibility for Medicaid benefits, please contact Self Reliance at 1-877-456-1233.
UPDATE: American Heart Association CPR Expiration Extension

3/25/2020, 5:00 p.m.
Suspension of Certain IDAPA Rules

By proclamation of Governor Brad Little, certain administrative rules have been suspended during the COVID-19 emergency. Suspended rules affecting the certification of Certified Family Homes are listed in the appendix under "Health & Welfare, Department of," "16.03.19, Certified Family"

3/23/2020, 2:10 p.m.
Idaho’s Response to COVID-19

In Idaho, the state government is maintaining an official website at for relaying Idaho-specific information. Additionally, Governor Brad Little has issued a proclamation declaring a state of emergency. The final item in his proclamation authorizes state agencies with licensing/certification responsibilities to “temporarily exercise enforcement discretion, implement temporary rules, and waive licensing and related requirements to maximize access to health care services and provider support in response to COVID-19.” To that end, the Division of Licensing & Certification, Certified Family Home Program, is temporarily taking the following steps to minimize transmission of the infection through the duration of the emergency:
  • All initial certification, recertification, and investigation survey activity will be by desk review only, except when investigating allegations that pose an imminent danger to residents;
  • Allow providers and substitute caregivers to let their CPR/First Aid certification lapse to limit group trainings;
  • Remove the requirement that a certain number of annual ongoing training hours be interactive, allowing providers to fulfil all training requirements through independent study;
  • Allow providers to limit in-person access to residents on a case-by-case basis, depending on the risk from the visitor and the susceptibility of the residents and others living in the home to major health complications from COVID-19; and
  • Allow providers to limit the resident’s participation in the community (including services and recreation) on a case-by-case basis, depending on the risk in the specific community setting and the susceptibility of the residents and others living in the home to major health complications from COVID-19.

COVID-19 Precautions and Information

Communities across the country are taking steps to lessen the impact of COVID-19, an infection from a novel (new) coronavirus that has become a world-wide pandemic. While most people who contract the disease will only experience mild symptoms, or no symptoms at all, it can cause serious health issues for some people. Since this at-risk group includes many who are residents in certified family homes across Idaho, it is important that CFH providers take precautions to prevent this illness from spreading. These precautions are described on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention webpage “How to Protect Yourself.” Please take the time to read and follow the information on this webpage. This website also includes many other webpages relating to the disease.


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Name Role Office
Steven L. Millward     CFH Program Manager (208) 334-0706
Susan Elsey CFH Technical Records Specialist (208) 334-0711
Bonnie Rice CFH Administrative Assistant (208) 334-0703
Lynette Palmer Region 1 CFH Specialist (208) 665-8807
Kim Cole Region 2 CFH Specialist (208) 799-4438 
Sandy Arnold Region 3 CFH Specialist (208) 455-7120
Carrie Rambeau Region 3 CFH Specialist (208) 455-7120
Laura Gomez
Region 4 CFH Specialist (208) 334-0700
Debra Gould Region 4 CFH Specialist (208) 334-0700
Nora Gonzalez Region 5 CFH Specialist  (208) 732-1515
Geneva Johnson Region 6 CFH Specialist (208) 239-6249
Josh Prigmore Region 7 CFH Specialist (208) 528-5721
Jana Brasier Region 7 CFH Specialist  (208) 528-5721