Columbia, South Carolina


TO:                All Organizational Components

SUBJECT:    Community Residential Care Facilities and the S.C. Department of Mental Health
                     Policy Statement


The purpose of this directive is to provide a policy, guidelines and procedures to assist clients served by the Department (defined to mean all involved organizational entities including Community Mental Health Centers) by recommending and securing appropriate admission to a Community Residential Care Facility (CRCF).


The policy of the Department is to assist clients in the state who have been or are being treated for mental illnesses to secure appropriate local housing. Consistent with client wishes and physical, medical, social, emotional and mental health needs the Department will recommend and assist the client in securing admission only to a CRCF that has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with their local Community Mental Health Center. If applicable and appropriate, the Department will also serve as CRCF Sponsor as defined by CRCF licensing standards.


Community Residential Care Facilities, licensed by the Department of Health and Environmental Control, play an important role in providing residential care for persons with mental illnesses. The Department developed a Memorandum Of Agreement which outlines the responsibilities of the Community Mental Health Centers and the Community Residential Care Facilities in providing care and treatment to clients who are residents in CRCFs. As stated in the MOA, the additional CRCF services described in the MOA are to be read and interpreted consistent with and not as limiting any applicable statutory, regulatory and licensing requirements imposed upon the CRCF or the CRCF Administrator.

Each Mental Health Center shall have an MOA with each CRCF in the Center's catchment area that can, agrees to and does provide additional services under the terms of the MOA. A copy of this directive should be given to each CRCF signing an MOA solely for the purpose of explaining Department and Community Mental Health Center policy.

When a client is discharged from a S.C. Department of Mental Health facility and chooses to live in a CRCF or chooses to move from a community residence (e.g., own home/apt., Community Residential Care Facility, boarding home) into a CRCF, the Department will assist the client in securing that admission. The Department will make every reasonable effort to recommend and assist in a client admission only to a CRCF that has signed an MOA with the local Conmmunity Mental Health Center. If applicable and appropriate, the Department will also serve as Sponsor as defined by CRCF licensing standards (R-84 of the Code of Laws of South Carolina as amended.)

While Department employees are to refer and assist clients in securing admission to a CRCF pursuant to this directive, admission to and continued residence in a CRCF is voluntary and essentially a private contract matter between the client and the CRCF. The Department does not have licensing or regulatory authority over a CRCF nor does the Department have custodial authority over any of its clients. Department employees shall not make any statements or representations that clients served by a mental health center or the Department will be admitted to, remain in or be discharged or transferred from a CRCF.

This directive becomes effective 30 days from the date signed and supersedes and rescinds Directive No. 682-85 entitled, Policy Statement Regarding the SC Department of Mental Health and Community Residential Care Facilities.'

                                                                                                            morris.GIF (2166 bytes)
                                                                                                                John A. Morris
                                                                                                                Interim State Director

June 5, 1996