Adult Residential Facilities (ARFs) provide safe, comfortable and affordable care for intellectually disabled adults

Adult Residential Facilities (ARFs) are an important part of the state’s health care and mental health care system. These homes provide care for intellectually disabled adults ages 18-59 who are unable to take care of themselves.

In 1974, the California Legislature passed the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act, which established services to care for Californians with intellectual disabilities. Prior to the Lanterman Act, most intellectually disabled adults who were unable to take care of themselves were forced to live in mental institutions, which provided little care or comfort.

The Lanterman Act marked a new way in which the state treated intellectually disabled adults. Instead of cold and crowded institutional settings, these adults are now placed in communities and in homelike settings. These homes are now called ARFs and serve more than 37,000 intellectually disabled adults throughout the state.

Fast Facts on Six-Bed ARFs
  • There are about 5,160 adult residential facilities in the State of California providing care and supervision to approximately 37,000 adults with intellectual disabilities.
  • The Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act, passed in 1974, established an entitlement to services for Californians with intellectual disabilities
  • Under the Lanterman Act, California transitioned its model of care from an institutional placement to community-based services, including placement in ARFs.
  • Most are living in six-bed residential facilities in the residential neighborhoods of California as part of community integration.
  • Most of these ARFs are owned and operated by women, minorities.

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