Group homes have a history of being problematic in the Foster Care system. Initially, there was a shortage of experienced operators, the industry was unregulated, and a few took advantage of it. While many were run by competent social workers or those in religious communities who, though without formal training, were instrumental in having a positive impact on these children. Unfortunately, in others, children were abused, forced to participate in the beliefs of their caretakers. Sometimes untrained workers tried behavior modification techniques that were cruel and inhumane. With little monitoring by the government, it was possible to cut back on food, clothing, education and program to make a profit for the operators.
Group homes are now subject to a number of federal regulations. Any care facility that houses six or more children is considered a group home. Most group homes are small and try to integrate the children into the community. The residents attend local schools, are closely supervised, have a structured life, with a counselor on duty around the clock in most cases, and a schedule of counseling, tutoring, and other services.