Social Adult Day Services

Frequently Asked Questions 



Q: What is Social Adult Day Care?

A: A structured, comprehensive program which provides functionally impaired individuals with socialization; supervision and monitoring; personal care; and nutrition in a protective setting during any part of the day, but for less than a 24-hour period. 

Q: How do I open a Social Adult Day Care?

A: Before you open, make sure that you are familiar with what a Social Adult Day program is.  Next, take the following steps to establish your program and the needs of your community:

    1. Figure out who will be served by identifying your participants
    2. Research the need in the area you are looking to open defining your participant base and how you will staff your program
    3. See what types of marketing and networking are needed to promote your program.
    1. Follow the New York State Office for the Aging Regulations
    2. Become familiar with the National Adult Day Services Association Standards and Guidelines for Adult Day
    3. Network in your local area by visiting other programs
    4. Join the appropriate associations
    5. Contact the media
    6. Join NYSADSA to make sure your program is listed as a preferred program in New York State
    7. Contact local community advisory councils and County Office for the Aging who can help promote your program and provide links to your community.
    1. Figure out if you will be privately or publicly sponsored or funded. Currently, there is no dedicated funding stream for social model adult day care programs. Successful programs are patchwork quilts of various funding from private and public sources.
      1. Budget for your program.  What is your operating costs?  Some costs to consider: Rent, Utilities, Telephone, Salaries & Benefits, Food Supplies, Operating Supplies (crafts, paper plates, cups, napkins, office supplies, activities supplies), Dues/Meeting/Training/Conference costs, Transportation, Postage, Insurance, Miscellaneous Contingency funds.
      2. Sources of funding. Diversify your funding portfolio! Look at funding parts of your program through government sources: USDA CACFP reimburses a portion of your cost for meals and snacks, local food banks can reduce meal costs, subsidized senior employment programs to provide part-time workers in exchange for on-the-job training.
      3. Special Client Group Funding, such as developmentally disabled, Alzheimer patients, Medicaid Managed Long Term Care participants.
      4. Aging Programs will sometimes fund social model programs, check with your area agency on aging for availability in your area.
      5. Local governments may be able to provide space or other in-kind public areas, such as sharing a community center with after school programs, senior citizen centers, nutrition sites, or even a child day care center.
      6. Occasionally civic groups can find scholarships for participants unable to privately pay for social model adult day.
      7. FUNDRAISE FOR YOUR PROGRAM! Earn money from raffles, bake sales, craft sales, & special events and incorporate that into your budget.  This is where you can connect with your local community.
    2. How do I collect fees?
      1. Some programs choose to do no billing when first starting


        Families will pay by check at the time of service or end of the month
      3. Some may choose to collect the fee at the beginning of the month – this is a good policy if there are frequent no shows
      4. Can bill for extra costs, including therapeutic showers or transportation
      5. Contract with a Medicaid Managed Long Term Care provider in your area and bill for participants referred to from those providers
    1. Start small – option to open only 2 or 3 days a week.  Or you can do a full 5 days per week.


      Hours for operation. You can option full day programs or half day programs, write everything in your policies and procedures.
    3. FOR YOUR INFORMATION – Participant turnover rate is high and continuous.  This will greatly impact your beginning numbers.

Q: What is NYSOFA?

A: NYSOFA is the New York State Office for the Aging. It is the state office that oversees the Area Agencies on Aging and establishes standards and oversight for New York’s aging population. NYSOFA also funds 17 Social Adult Day Programs in New York State.

Q: Why are there Rules and Regulations?

A: To establish minimum requirements for the administration and operation of social adult day care programs and the oversight and other responsibilities of area agencies on aging.

Q: Where can I access the NYSOFA Rules & Regulations?

A: Please go to the NYSADSA Resources Page – they are linked.

Q: What does the Area Agencies on Aging do?

A: Carry out oversight and other responsibilities related to social adult day care programs, including the purchase of services.  May establish additional requirements for social adult day care programs.  Ensure that providers carry out their social day program with the applicable provisions of the Federal American with Disability Act.  Apply requirements to social adult day care programs that are provided under contracts entered into or renewed on or after six months from the effective date of these amendments establishing minimum standards for social adult day care programs.

Q: What are the requirements for admission of participants to my program?

A: The program shall serve only individual whose needs can be met and managed by the program.  An assessment of functional capacities and impairments MUST be conducted prior to admission. All participants must meet requirements listed in your Policies.

Q: If we have an agency that operates an adult day program and they want to have a satellite office in another location, does the satellite location require a separate license? Does a self-certification and self-monitoring need to be conducted for each location? Should the satellite location choose to operate as a stand-alone SADS, who can they contact with their questions to become a new adult day program?

A: There is no license required for a social adult day services program. If an agency is operating more than one site, each site should be self-certified on the OMIG website in order to ensure that they should do the self-monitoring of each site. This is required regardless of affiliation.

Q: Can you clarify what is required for the nutritional standards in New York State?

A: Per NYS Regulations, the person who certified the menus must be a Registered Dietitian.  For example, a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner who does not have his/her Registration through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics would not meet NYSOFA regulations.  This may be confusing as the federal requirements list “other individuals knowledgeable with regard to the needs of older individuals.”

Q: Is the minimum data set appropriate for a SADC program in New York?

A: The MDS, COMPASS is the NYSOFA recommended assessment tool. If you are providing caregiver services or case assistance/access to benefits a complete COMPASS assessment provides the information you will need, including financial information.  A functional assessment is the minimum component of an assessment. The regulations specify minimum requirements.

Q: What is certification of Social Adult Day Care in New York State?

A: In June 2015, DOH, SOFA and OMIG adopted a new certification program for all SADC programs who contract or intend to contract with MLTCs. This certification program requires programs to register with OMIG to ensure they adhere to the SOFA standards and regulations as a condition of their contract. While this certification only pertains to those programs with MLTC contracts, it is a great first step in ensuring all SADC programs adhere to the SOFA standards and regulations.

Q: Are social adult day programs required to register as a Medicaid providers?

A: Social Adult Day is not a medical service and is not required to be enrolled as a Medicaid provider according to the following link. NYSOFA has not been notified that home and community based aging services have to enroll as Medicaid providers.

Another helpful link can be found here.

Q: NYC Social Adult Day Programs: How do I submit a FSE (Food Service Establishment) permit application if I am unable to obtain a Proof of Sales Tax Collecting Authorization?  

A: Social Adult Day Care facilities who are for profit, and do not have the certificate of authority to collect sales tax can use their employee identification number (EIN) to submit their application. This is a temporary solution to allow SADC to apply for a food license at DCA.

REMINDER: SADC's who are not for profit and have a 501c3 should apply for a senior center permit 25/30 at DCA. This is a Class permit: SC and Subclass: OF

**All applicants must enter "Social Adult Day Care" in addition to their DBA.

If there is an issue submitting the application at DCA, speak with assistant director for licensing Ms. Angie Mui.

Click the icon below to ask your Social Adult Day questions:

Please Note: Before submitting, review the previously asked questions above!!!