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Consumer Guide: Finding and Choosing a Community-Based Residential Facility

In Wisconsin, the Division of Quality Assurance (DQA) licenses and regulates assisted living facilities. Each type has a directory. In the community-based residential facilities (CBRF) directory, you can find details about each licensed CBRF.

There's also a Glossary for Assisted Living Directories that helps define complex terms.

View CBRF directory as a PDF

View CBRF directory in Excel

What is a community-based residential facility?

A CBRF is a type of assisted living facility. It's a place where five or more adults (aged 18 and older), who aren't related, live in a community setting. Those who live at the CBRF can't be related to the caregiver or facility manager. A CBRF may range in size from five to 237 beds.

CBRF residents also get care that's beyond room and board. This can include up to three hours per week of nursing care per person.

What services do CBRFs offer?

CBRF clients shouldn't need more than an intermediate level of nursing care. Care services may help with:

  • Advanced age
  • AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome)
  • Alcohol and other drug use
  • Correctional clients
  • Dementia
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Mental health problems
  • Pregnancy (if also in need of counseling)
  • Physical disabilities
  • Terminal illness
  • Traumatic brain injury

How are CBRFs regulated in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, CBRFs get licensed based on the law, Wis. Admin. Code ch. DHS 83.

DQA makes sure that all licensed CBRFs follow these laws:

CBRFs that don't follow state laws can face penalties (based on Wis. Stat. ch. 50). Examples include fines ($10 to $1,000 per day) or closing or suspending the CBRF.

Community-based residential facility resources

Expand the section that applies to you to view a list of resources. Select a link to learn more.

Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) doesn't refer people to a specific CBRF. We do offer many state and national resources, though, that can help you find and choose a CBRF.

  • Aging and disability resource centers (ADRCs) - Learn how ADRCs serve the public and how to contact your local ADRC. ADRCs help with issues that affect older adults, people with disabilities, and their families. Your ADRC makes it easy to learn about options near you and apply for programs and benefits. Their services are free if you live in Wisconsin.
  • Assisted Living Facility Trends and Statistics - View data about each type of assisted living facility. Includes who they serve, how many they serve, the number of staff, and more.
  • Choosing an Assisted Living Facility, P-60579 - Learn about assisted living facilities and keep track of your options. Includes a checklist and questionnaire to guide you.
  • Choosing Care Providers - Know what questions to ask and steps to take when finding a new provider. This resource is from the Alzheimer's Association.
  • DQA Bureau of Assisted Living brochure, P-00204 (PDF) - Learn about the DQA and the Bureau of Assisted Living. See what they regulate and attend an assisted living forum.
  • Provider Search - Use the Provider Search tool to find health and residential care providers in Wisconsin. You can filter results to show only certain types of facilities, such as a Community-Based Residential Facility.
  • Residential Care Options by County - Access details about residential care options based on where you live. Use a map or county listing to select your county and learn more.

DQA takes routine surveys of assisted living facilities in Wisconsin. The goal is to make sure facilities meet state requirements and offer quality care. Results of surveys are public. These resources relate to the surveys:

These resources help you understand laws that protect those living in CBRFs.

These resources are for those who help an older adult or person with a disability.

  • Assisted Living - Find information on topics that help you advocate for quality care. This resource is from The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care.
  • Caregiving - Learn how to care for a person with Alzheimer's or dementia. Find resources and tips for caregivers from the Alzheimer's Association.
Last revised March 3, 2023