Live-In Staff Can Pose Special Challenges


Live-in staff is not uncommon in group homes.  We are not referring to the business models such as adult family care homes in Florida where the residents live in the owner’s private residence.  This is different.

We refer to those that are corporate owned and where owners utilize live-in staff to offset personnel expenses.  While not always a bad thing, there can  be challenges which we chronicle herein.


  • Labor Laws

Even with live-in staff there are income and labor considerations.  Owners need to ensure that you are not in violation of state or federal labor statutes that govern how long a person can be on duty, how many hours they must be alert to the operations of the home, etc.  The state department that licenses you may also have administrative rules that impact how you make usage of live-in personnel.

  • Comfort Level
Man Aiming Remote Control --- Image by © Ned Frisk Photography/Brand X/Corbis
    When the comfort level goes too far…

There is always the risk of a live-in person becoming too comfortable.  After all, they are at home.  In the process they may begin to treat work responsibility as unimportant or abandon the routines you prefer they stick to.  There are also constant reports of unauthorized personal company on the premises which could jeopardize the home’s security.

  • Legal

In some jurisdictions it may be necessary upon termination to complete the process of legal eviction since the workplace is this person’s personal residence.  This could mean a terminated employee is in your face for weeks after being fired.  Not pleasant!

  • Attitude

A feeling of possessiveness may also overtake a live-in person.  This means they begin to treat the entire environment as if it is their own.  They may be unresponsive to direction to train relief personnel regardless of the benefit to themselves.  Anything or anyone whom they perceive will threaten the security of their “cushy” assignment is a threat and that does not work well for anyone.

This Blog is not recommending that live-in staff be abandoned.  However, based upon the foregoing, caution is warranted and concrete policies affecting their residency and work must be a major part of this formula.

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