Free AFC Info Session, June 18, 2024, 10:30 a.m. or 6:30 p.m.

Pathlight is hosting two free virtual information sessions to give you the chance to ask questions and learn all there is to know about the AFC program. If you’ve found yourself in a care taking role- whether you have an adult child with a disability or are supporting an aging parent- this info session is for you! Click here to learn more.

Adult Family Care (AFC)

Adult Family Care, also known as Adult Foster Care, operates from the premise that individuals thrive and grow to meet their maximum potential for independent, fulfilled lives when they have strong, ongoing personal relationships, access to community activities and individualized care that matches their unique needs and capabilities.

AFC is a residential option for individuals who cannot safely live alone, but don’t require the level of support typical of group residences.

In 2007, regulations changed so that individuals who qualify for the Adult Family Care program may remain at home with their family members who provide, in the privacy and comfort of their home, everyday care and support.

Other AFC adults may choose to move into the home of a host family.

FAQ for Caregivers and Individuals
The Basic

A Medicaid/MassHealth funded program, Adult Family Care pays family and non-family caregivers for their care of eligible adults with physical, cognitive,  or medical disabilities.

Individuals age 16 or over who have or are eligible for MassHealth and have a medical, physical, or cognitive disability that requires daily physical assistance, prompting or supervision to successfully complete Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) are eligible to apply for Adult Family Care.

Caregivers receive a monthly, tax-exempt stipend in addition to a room-and-board payment from the individual’s benefits.

Hours of Operation: Office open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.; member services available 24/7

Locations: Offices at 220 Brookdale Dr., Springfield, MA 0110475 South Church Street, Suite 402, Pittsfield, MA 01301

Referral Sources: Referrals come from public agencies, physicians, nursing homes, and private parties.

Participant Eligibility

For individuals to be considered, they must

  • be at least 16 years of age
  • be covered by MassHealth Standard or MassHealth CommonHealth
  • have a medical or cognitive disability that requires daily supervision or physical assistance with at least one of the following:
    • Bathing
    • Toileting
    • Ambulating
    • Transferring
    • Eating
    • Dressing
    • Physician approval is required

A nurse and social worker completes a detailed inquiry and assessment of the individual’s needs and capabilities.  A physician completes a Patient Summary and makes a recommendation for Adult Family Care.  A third-party administrator determines eligibility.

Caregiver Eligibility

Approved caregivers may be parents who are not legal guardians of their child who is over 18. Other family members (siblings, aunts, uncles, etc.) and friends of the family may also be approved through Pathlight’s home-study process as caregivers.  When needed, the agency will provide and train a caregiver, who will care for the individual.

Spouses and parents who are legal guardians cannot receive payment through Adult Family Care.  If their child is over 18 and the parents are co-guardians, one parent can receive the stipend if the other relinquishes guardianship or another person becomes the guardian.

In order to explore caregiving, you must:

  • own or rent a home
  • be willing and able to give the time necessary to care for the individual
  • be willing and able to provide the medical care and physical assistance required to care for the individual
  • successfully complete a review process:
    • home visit
    • pass a CORI and drug test
    • multiple meeting with the individual requiring care
  • agree to monthly visits by a nurse and/or caseworker
  • complete orientation training, CPR, and First Aid Certification

Caregivers may:

  • be single or married
  • be employed elsewhere
How to Apply?
  • A referral is made to Pathlight. A family can self-refer by filling out the interest form below or calling 413-731-4533.
  • A Registered Nurse and Case Manager meet with the potential individual and an assessment is made
  • When criteria is met, a Primary Care Physician (PCP) approves the recommendations
  • It typically takes approximately 8 weeks from intake to placement
Then What, in the Short Term?
  • When an individual is approved, a Pathlight employee will review all AFC policies and procedures
  • If necessary, a host family will be identified
  • The participant and host family will have several meetings, including an overnight visit
  • If all agree, a start date is selected
What About the Long Term?
  • A Pathlight nurse will make weekly visits for the first four weeks following placement
  • Thereafter, monthly (or as needed) a Pathlight nurse or case manager will visit to facilitate the transition
  • The nurse will monitor medical needs and the case manager will monitor psycho-social needs on a regular basis
Is Care Providing for You?

Successful care providers understand the individual’s viewpoint, are highly motivated to make a difference in their life, and have the flexibility to adapt as the living situation evolves, as families do.

Whether a host family or the individual’s biological family you have an ability to set boundaries; provide structure; be open, honest, and stable; function easily as part of a team; be involved in their community; and adapt flexibly as everyone’s needs and abilities change with personal growth.

Before you begin providing services, you receive six weeks of training, which helps you to understand the history of developmental and other disabilities, your role in establishing a successful relationship,  and the importance of community integration and working as a team.

In addition to an annual stipend, the Pathlight team is there to support you.

Want to Find out More? Contact Us.

If you’d like to find out more about either Adult Family Care or Shared Living, please call 413-731-4533 or email info@pathlightgroup.org.

Interested in becoming an Adult Family Care Provider?

Please fill out this form and a Pathlight representative will contact you.

AFC Caregiver Contact Form

Does the person you're supporting have MassHealth?

Do they have a guardian?

How did you hear about Pathlight's Adult Family Care program?

1 + 13 =

“I like living in a home with a family, I was living in a nursing home and this is much better. I can eat when I want to, I have more freedom to do the things I like and have become a part of my community.”

~ Bill (pictured right)


“AFC is a wonderful program, I work in long term care and I see just how this program enhances the lives of the participants and caregivers. AFC has been a valuable addition to my life, my family, and Bill’s life.”

~Jared (Bill’s caregiver)

Learn About Pathlight’s Lifecycle of Services

Paths to Family Based Living



Department of Developmental Services program