Transitioning Someone with Special Needs to a Group Home

You will need to consider many factors when transitioning someone with special needs into a group home. Transitioning into a new living situation can be an emotional and stressful experience for you and your family. Listed below are some tips and special needs housing resources for getting through this time together.


Connect with other families who’ve been in your shoes through a parent organization.

  • Talking to people in your community or school district or even reaching out via social media can be a great first step.
  • The Laura Baker Services Association Family Support group or Family Voices of Minnesota make it easy to connect 1:1 with other parents/guardians who have had similar experiences.

Find the Positive

Focus on the positive aspects of this new phase of life for you and your loved one.

  • Your loved one will have new opportunities.
  • Your loved one will expand their social horizons, and they may have friends who live in a group home setting already.
  • You may have new opportunities.
  • Staff members at the group home will be able to support your loved one, and you can refresh yourself, allowing for a different relationship with your family member.
  • Consider what new experiences and types of care your loved one can receive while in a group home.
  • Remind yourself that, as with any child who leaves the family home, you’re still a huge part of their life.


Here’s how you can prepare yourself and your loved one for this transition time and feel more at ease.

  • Help your loved one to describe their preferences, needs, goals, and comfort levels with various activities and situations. This information can be enormously helpful so staff can provide an enriching and respectful environment. Check out this example from The Special Needs Alliance.
  • Tour group homes together and meet staff and residents. Building familiarity is important for everyone when moving from one place to another.
  • Communicate as much as possible about this transition time. Include your loved one in the process, as appropriate.

More Information and Support

If you’re looking for help with the life transition of finding group housing for adults with disabilities or another transition, consider scheduling a FREE consultation with a Family Navigator at Laura Baker Services Association. We can help you confidently make the best decisions for your family’s needs and goals.

Family Navigation Services


Sam Gershman

Sam Gershman

Family Navigation Specialist

Main: 507-645-8866 Direct: 507-581-7078