Residential Treatment Centers for Children and Adolescents


Jack Plagge, Manager
Hospital & Outpatient Services Unit

Bureau of Health Facility Regulation
2727 Mahan Drive, Mail Stop #31
Tallahassee, Florida 32308
Telephone: (850) 412-4549
Florida Relay Service (TDD): (800) 955-8771
Email: hospitals@ahca.myflorida.com

Residential Treatment Centers for Children and Adolescents (RTC) are 24 hour residential programs, including therapeutic group homes, licensed by the Agency. These centers were designed to provide mental health treatment and services to children under the age of 18 who have been diagnosed as having mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders.

NOTE: Treatment Centers that are classified as Therapeutic Group Homes are limited to 12 beds.

Health Facility Reporting System

Health Facility Reporting SystemThe Agency for Health Care Administration (Agency) requires all licensees providing residential or inpatient services to use an Agency approved database for reporting its emergency status, planning or operations. The Agency approved database for reporting this information is the Health Facility Reporting System (HFRS).



Online Applications – In addition to submitting license renewal applications online, licensees may also submit changes during the licensure period. Changes to the fictitious name, address, capacity, and personnel can be submitted by going to the online portal and creating a new application.  Contact the licensure unit for additional information.

Licensure Requirements

Facilities must meet license requirements through the submission of a completed application, required documentation, and completion of a satisfactory survey.  

Initial Application

This includes new facilities and reactivation of an expired license.  At least 60 days before the effective date, an applicant must submit a licensure application, fees and supporting documents.  When all required information is received and acceptable, a licensure survey will be scheduled.  A license will be issued when documentation of a successful licensure survey is complete and filed.  Note: A valid license is required before services can be provided.


The licensure application, renewal fee and supporting documents must be submitted to the Agency 120 to 60 days prior to the expiration date. A late fee of $50 per day, up to 50% of the licensure fee or $500 (whichever is less) will be assessed for any application not received 60 days prior to expiration. A renewal application will not be accepted if the license is expired. An initial license application must be filed if the license has expired.

Change of Ownership (CHOW)

Chapter 408.803, Florida Statutes defines "Change of ownership" as: an event in which 51 percent or more of the ownership, shares, membership, or controlling interest of a licensee is in any manner transferred or otherwise assigned. This does not apply to a licensee that is publicly traded on a recognized stock exchange. Also, a change solely in the management company or board of directors is not a change of ownership.

The licensure application, fee and supporting documents (see application checklist) must be submitted at least 60 days prior to the change of ownership.  Before the application can be approved, any outstanding fees owed the State (owed by either party) must be paid anda bill of sale or other closing document signed by the buyer and the seller and showing the effective date of the transfer must be received by the Agency.

Other Change During the Licensure Period

A change of physical address requires submission of an application. Other documents that may be required include AHCA Form 3100-0007 and documentation verifying the applicant’s right to occupy the premises at the new address (i.e. warrant or quit claim deed; lease or rental agreement.)

A bed change requires submission of an application.  If adding beds to the current license, the per bed license fee must accompany the application.  A license authorizing the additional beds will be issued when all documentation is received.  Please note a valid license is required before the additional beds can be utilized.

Voluntary Termination of a License

A licensee must inform the agency not less than 30 days prior to the discontinuance of operation and comply with the requirements listed in Chapter 408.810(4), Florida Statutes.

Accreditation Requirements

Accreditation is voluntary. Accredited RTCs meeting section 394.741, Florida Statute, may be "deemed" to be in compliance with the licensure requirements. Deemed RTCs are not scheduled for routine on-site licensure surveys. Facilities must provide a complete copy of the most recent survey report indicating continuation as an accredited facility in lieu of inspections. The survey report should include correspondence from the accrediting organization containing:

  • The beginning and expiration dates of the survey,
  • The accreditation status,
  • Type of accreditation,
  • Any citations to which the accreditation organization requires a response,
  • A response to each citation,
  • The effective date of accreditation, and
  • Any follow up reports.

Pursuant to section 394.90, Florida Statute, this report will become part of the facility file maintained by our office and therefore will be considered public record.  Facilities no longer accredited or granted accreditation status other than accredited or fail to submit the requested documentation will be scheduled for annual licensure surveys to be conducted by Agency field office staff.

Statutory Authority: Section 408.811(2) and 394.741, Florida Statutes

Accrediting Organization Web Address Deemed for State Licensure
Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) http://www.carf.org/ Yes
Council on Accreditation (COA) https://coanet.org/ Yes
The Joint Commission (TJC) http://www.jointcommission.org/ Yes

Applications and Supporting Forms

Form Number Name For Description
AHCA Form 3180-5004

RTC Health Care Licensing Application [130KB, DOC]

All application types Standard residential treatment center for children and adolescents application required to apply for or modify a RTC license.
Recommended Form

Application Addendum
[127KB, DOC]


Please provide this information to comply with the reporting requirements of Chapter 408, Part II, F.S.
  Business Articles Initial
Articles of Incorporation or similarly titled document as filed with the Florida Department State.
  Proof of Right to Occupy Premises Initial
Change of Address
Documentation verifying the applicant’s right to occupy the premises at the physical address of the facility (i.e. warranty or quit claim deed; lease or rental agreement).
  Compliance with Zoning Requirements Initial
Change of Address

For all RTCs except Community Residential Homes, any documentation, dated within the last 6 months, from a local government identifying the facility is in compliance with local zoning requirements.

For a facility considered to be a Community Residential Home under Chapter 419, F.S., provide a completed Community Residential Home Affidavit of Compliance form.

  Certificate of Occupancy

Initial due to new construction.

Change of address due to new construction.

Specific documentation from a local government granting the right to occupy a facility.

  Management Agreement Initial
(if applicable)
Contract between the owner and a management company for management of services.
  Closing Document CHOW Bill of sale or similar document signed by the buyer and the seller indicating the date of transfer of ownership.
  Statement of Outstanding Deficiencies CHOW Statement from the buyer assuring any uncorrected licensure survey deficiencies will be corrected timely.
  Statement of Outstanding Payments CHOW Statement from the buyer identifying any outstanding balance owed AHCA, and indicating who will pay and when.
  Occupational License Initial
Change of Address (if move is to a new city and/or county)
Occupational license issued to the facility by the local city and/or county government.
Recommended Form HIV / AIDS Training Affidavit [22KB, PDF] Initial
HIV / AIDS affidavit assuring required facility staff will be trained.
  Certificate of Insurance Initial
Certificate of Insurance verifying commercial or general liability insurance coverage (minimum required coverage is $300,000 per incidence and $1 million in aggregate).
  Fire Safety Inspection Report

Change of Address

Satisfactory fire safety inspection report completed in the last 365 days
  Sanitation Inspection Report Initial
Change of Address
Satisfactory sanitation inspection report completed in the last 365 days.
Form CF-MH 1065 Emergency Management Planning Criteria


Provides an outline to develop an emergency management plan. The plan must be approved by the county emergency operations center annually.

Licensure Fees

Fee Type Amount Who Pays Due
Initial, renewal or CHOW Application

$240 per bed.

Applicant With application.
Capacity Increase

$240 per bed.


With application.

Late Application $50 per day, up to 50% of the licensure fee or $500 (whichever is less) All late applications If an application is not received at least 60 days prior to the anticipated effective date. Payment can be made any time during the application process or upon issuance of a final order.

Incident Reporting

Below is the suggested reporting form to use for filing incident reports that are required under Rule 65E-9.005(3)(l), F.A.C.

RTC Incident Report Form [132 KB, DOC]

Effective April 1, 2011, please direct all incident reports to:

The Agency for Health Care Administration
Complaint Administration Unit
2727 Mahan Drive, Mail Stop 49
Tallahassee, FL 32308

For Residential Treatment Centers that have contracted with Medicaid to provide Statewide Inpatient Psychiatric Program (SIPP) services, this report will also satisfy reporting requirements under the Medicaid contract.

Note: This reporting form does not impose new regulatory requirements and is not meant to replace the reporting requirements of the Department of Children and Families or reporting required of hospital programs under Chapter 395, Florida Statutes.

Background Screening

A level 2 background screen is required of the administrator responsible for the day to day operations of the facility and the chief financial officer. Please visit the Agency's background screening web page for additional information regarding vendors, fees, locations etc. Background screens must be repeated every 5 years.

Department of Health Approval for Onsite Sewage Disposal Systems

Statute/Rule Authority