All San Diego County assisted living facilities must have an RCFE (Residential Care Facility for the Elderly) license. This includes large assisted living communities and small board and care homes. Assisted living licensing is through Community Care Licensing, a Department of Social Services. The provisions of these licenses are set out in the California Code of Regulations Title 22.
Over the past several years, regulation and enforcement of San Diego RCFE licenses has improved, but we still don’t have the resources and workforce needed to properly oversee the large quantity of licensees in the county. By law, RCFEs only have to be inspected once every 5 years! Thankfully, in reality, most are visited and inspected much more often.
One important part of our job is to review the licensing inspection reports for every RCFE we refer families to. The basic information we rely on is found on this government website, but the important details are discovered in our regular facility and home visits, conversations we have with the RCFE administrators, our past history with the facility, and feedback we have received from families helped with placement in the past.
When you visit any assisted living, always ask for the report from their most recent inspection. The majority of the assisted living communities and homes in San Diego do a fine job and have assisted living licensing reports that are acceptable, even exceptional. And you can always contact us for assistance.