Adult Family Home Administrator Training Certification

Adult Family Home Administrator Training Certification with Joseph Spada, LPN.

DSHS no longer accepts the 48-hour AFH Administrator Certificates unless you are a currently licensed AFH Provider applying for an additional license.

The required 54-hour Adult Family Home Administrator Training Certification prepares you for the Adult Family Home licensing process. Topics covered:

  • State and Federal laws governing Adult Family Homes;
  • Roles and responsibilities of a licensed provider;
  • Readiness; Personal Net Worth, Business Feasibility, and Fiscal Management;
  • Marketing;
  • Laws and Regulations;
  • Human Resources (staff management and employment practices);
  • Resident’s Rights, Disclosures, and Policies;
  • Assessments and Care Planning;
  • Medication Administration;
  • Social and Recreational Activities & Nutrition;
  • Building Inspection and Initial Licensing;
  • All training materials are provided.

Calendar 2024

Upcoming Dates for Joseph Spada’s Adult Family Home Administrator Training Certification:

  • If the classes below fall into the next school quarter, they may not appear on the North Seattle College schedule; call 206-934-3619 to register by phone or email

January 2024 (Tuesdays): Course #29256

  • Starts: Tuesday, January 16, 2024
  • Ends: Tuesday, March 5, 2024
  • Schedule: Every Tuesday, 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM
  • Location: Online (Canvas)

February 2024 (Fridays and Saturdays): Course #27115

  • Starts: Friday, February 23, 2024
  • Ends: Saturday, March 16, 2024
  • Schedule: Every Friday and Saturday: 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM
  • Location: Online (Canvas)

April 2024 (Tuesdays): Course #28658

  • Starts: Tuesday, April 23, 2024
  • Ends: Tuesday, June 11, 2024
  • Schedule: Every Tuesday, 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM
  • Location: Online (Canvas)

May 2024 (Fridays and Saturdays): Course #28659

  • Starts: Friday, May 31, 2024
  • Ends: Saturday, June 22, 2024
  • Schedule: Every Friday and Saturday: 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM
  • Location: Online (Canvas)
Register Now At North Seattle CollegeClick to Register...


or call the NSC Registration Office at 206-934-3619


The class is 54 hours of instruction time and qualifies for 12 hours of continuing education.

Q. Who is required to have the AFH administrator certification?

  • Anyone applying for an initial AFH license
  • Anyone planning to open a second AFH
  • Anyone planning to open additional adult family homes.

Q. Can I get CEs from the class?

  • 12 hours of DSHS-approved CE credits.

Q. I don’t plan to open a second home. Do I need this class?

  • No. But if you are not currently licensed, you will need the class.

Some Topics Covered In This Class 

  • Rules and Regulation: a comprehensive review and understanding of the licensing process and regulations governing Adult Family Homes.
  • Marketing your AFH to attract clients and maximize your occupancy and income.
  • Money management and financial planning. Entity structuring to minimize taxes and maximize profits.
  • Employment: best employment practices, finding and retaining staff, and avoiding pitfalls.
  • AFH Policies, Disclosures, and House Rules: Create required policies for your AFH that make sense for you and your residents, prevent difficult and disruptive visitors, and comply with Resident Rights and other WACs.
  • Resident admissions and discharges: avoid citations, disgruntled clients, and being investigated (or sued) for wrongful discharge.
  • Medication systems: how to set up your medication management system to avoid errors and citations.
  • Many, many other relevant modules help you prepare, apply, and operate your new AFH.

Please leave your comments or questions below, and I will answer them.





Joseph Spada
Joseph Spada

Adult Family Home Consultant, geriatric nurse, owner of Spada Care Homes, Ohana Hale Senior Living, and Savanna Healthcare; DSHS instructor of the AFH Administrator Training; speaker; author.

    81 replies to "Adult Family Home Administrator Training Certification"

    • Andre

      My name is Andre and I am from California planning to move to Seattle this June . I would like to be a AFH owner /admin( hopefully ) , and like to take the AFH Admin class starting this April 23rd. My question is would it be Ok if I take the admin class first and have the English Profeciency taken later when I go later this June ? Or can I take the pre requisite here in Ca ?
      Thank you for your time .

      • Joseph Spada

        The English proficiency test is a prerequisite for the AFH Administrator course, so you need to get that done before you can take the AFH Admin class.

    • Jason DeShane Burgess

      Hello Mr. Spada i was wondering when your next marketing class would be held im interested in your course as i took your class last winter thanks for all the great guidance

      • Joseph Spada

        Thanks for your interest… There is currently no schedule to teach a marketing course. I would love to (and I have a ton of fresh and super-effective strategies), but unfortunately, I don’t have the time to plan and organize an event. If you know anyone interested in organizing the event and logistics, I will teach it 🙂


      This is Alice Gitau, sorry,I must have English certificate.


      Hey Joseph,i have already registered for May 19 Fri,Sat class,and they are telling me that i must have certificate as a requirement.This is not my first certificate,am a CNA.l feel like am getting tired, please advice.

      • Joseph Spada

        An English proficiency test is a prerequisite for the AFH Administrator course.

        UPDATE LATE 2023: Per DSHS rules, colleges can NO LONGER ACCEPT a copy of your transcripts showing college-level English (English 97 or higher). Everyone must undergo a fresh English proficiency test, according to the college’s protocol.

        In the past, one could provide the Continuing Education department with a copy of your transcripts showing college-level English (English 97 or higher) or take the English proficiency test.

        CNA, HCA, and other caregiving courses are not English courses and are not accepted for proof of English proficiency. Unfortunately, even nurses and other qualified professionals who have received their medical or nursing training in the US by an accredited institution must retake the English test.

        • Edith

          The state no longer accepts transcripts showing college-level English. That is what I was told from North Seattle College.

          • Joseph Spada

            An English proficiency test is a prerequisite for the AFH Administrator course.

            UPDATE LATE 2023: Per DSHS rules, colleges can NO LONGER ACCEPT a copy of your transcripts showing college-level English (English 97 or higher). Everyone must undergo a fresh English proficiency test according to the college’s protocol.

            In the past, one could provide the Continuing Education department with a copy of your transcripts showing college-level English or take the English proficiency test.

            Unfortunately, even nurses and other qualified professionals who have received their medical or nursing training in the US by an accredited institution must retake the English test.

    • Frances

      Hallo John, can I start an AFH in a manufactured home?

      • Joseph Spada

        As long as it meets the building code requirements per WAC 51-51-0330, I’m not sure what you couldn’t.

    • Mary Johnson

      I took the AFH course last year I have the certificate. I am not ready to open my home yet do I have to take the course every year or how long is my certificate good for it was issued by the community college. 07-2021…… also if you know of anyone who is trying to sell their home I am interested as long as it is compliant and preferably already have residence.
      I appreciate your time and I wanna take this time to tell you how much I admire you as well I have been watching your growth since 2008 you have made some amazing accomplishments.

      • Joseph Spada

        Hello Mary; Your AFH Administrator certificate will be valid as long the requirement remains 54 hours. The DSHS AFH Orientation (the one-day class offered by DSHS) is only valid 1 year.

    • Cristina

      I completed the Administrator training in 2005. I had 2 afhs for one year at that time . I have been a provider of 1 afh since 2006. Is my certificate still valid if I intend to apply for a second afh this year?

      • Joseph Spada

        The current requirement for additional locations is to have the “54-hours AFH Administrator Certification” If this is what you have it will be accepted. If you have the older 48-hours certification, it will probably not be accepted.

    • Philis Njoki

      Do you have classes on Monday and Tuesday

      • Joseph Spada

        You can monitor this page for the schedule. Fall schedule will be posted pater in August.

        • Simon

          What are the requirements of sharing your residential home with just one client. Do yiu still need the administration class?

          • Joseph Spada

            You do not need a license to care for 1 individual in your home. You would need a license to admit a second – or more residents who are not related to you by blood or marriage. There are no licensing requirements to care for direct family; for example, you can have both your grandparents and your mom (3 RELATED individuals) without a license.

            • Rahab

              Hi Joseph, my name is Rahab and I am.very much interested in opening an AFH. Could you please guide me on how to proceed. And I’d you know any realtor who can help me secure a house for the same, I’ll appreciate you pointing me to him or her. Thank you

            • Joseph Spada

              Hi Rahab, there is simple answer to your question since any specific guidance would be based on your current situation. If you want some 1-1 guidance for quick progress, you can schedule a consulting session. If you want to pursue alone, read WAC 388-76 to help you define next steps relative to licensing.

    • Jordan


      I am trying to get the AFH Orientation and I have to have it done by May 10th, DSHS kept listing it as Orientation, and not specifying beyond the Orientation and Safety. Is there anyway I can get help with this? Thank you.

    • Esegenet

      what is the schedule for classes for 2022?

    • Hafiswa

      Hello Josephine,
      I have a dream of opening an AFH and i am ready to start a course with you around September October I prefer evening classes.I will be very grateful for your career guidance and direction.

    • Judith Nyairo

      Hello, I’m interested in taking this class online, but I’m not available everyday of the week. I was wondering if there is a longer version of the class that I can take during the evening after work.

      • Joseph Spada

        The next class I teach will be in September, then another in October. Both are Fridays and Saturdays from 9 to 4:30. Since the fall quarter schedule is not yet published you’ll have to call and let them know which class/dates you want to register for.
        — or call (206) 934-3619.

    • Mary

      I and my lead caregiver have been managing and caring for my mother after a severe stroke for over 5 years. Her long term care insurance will pay more toward her care if she is in a certified group home. I am going to sign both of us up for the evening class but would like to send more info privately to see if this is a good investment (if we can meet the other requirements).

      • Joseph Spada

        I’m pretty certain it would be a good investment. Feel to reach out if you wish to discuss further.

    • Tewabe Kassie


      My name is Tewabe Kassie. I’m a state employee at DSHS. I was wondering what is the chance to use a tuition waiver to take this class as a state employee of a service provider.

      • Joseph Spada

        Hello Tewabe, I will refer you to Natalia Tiosova via private email, she is deals with enrollment at North Seattle and can answer your question.

    • Tara Johnson

      Is this certificate dshs approved? Thank you.

    • Jolly Ana Padilla

      Hello Mr. Spada,

      I would like to know if I still have to take this 54 hr Administrator Training if I already successfully completed the 48 hr administrator training class in 2008. I’m planning to open a second home.

      Thank you so much.
      Jolly P.

      • Joseph Spada

        If you are a current provider, your previous Admin Certificate will qualify. If you are not a current provider, you will need to retake the Admin Course at a Community College for it to be accepted (54 hours). RULES CHANGE FREQUENTLY…

        • Jolly Ana Padilla

          Thank you !

    • Rahma Arero

      I have messaged you on here in the past and got reply on this matter but I thought I should clarify my question again. I have taken the 48hrs class about 7years ago not through community college but got all my license so I was wondering since now the rules are changed would my credentials valid?
      Thank you in advance!

      • Joseph Spada

        Your certificate should be valid if you are a current provider. These have no expiration dates.

    • Grace

      Hey there,
      I read alot on your web and I think you are a great teacher. It’s wonderful and very kind of you to find time to answering questions that are educaive in AFH administration class. I wish to be in your class to refresh my 2014 48hrs training because I feel like I will learn more from you and I am much relaxed now unlike that time I was under lots of stress pressure trying to make ends meet. The class trading was way too accelerated too but I made it anyway. I am not licensed now but I will seek to. Do you think it’s okay or allowed to attend this class again despite that?.
      Thank you for teaching it.

      • Joseph Spada

        Hi Grace, thank you!

        Let me check with the college to see if there is a possibility to audit the course. I will let you know once I find out.


      Hello. My name is Silvia Combs I want to enroll in Course # 7151 ( 11/9 – 12/8, 2019. ) I want to know if I can skip first 3 classes ( 11/9; 11/10 & 11/16 , 2019 ) and makeup by the end of the course ?

      • Joseph Spada

        Silvia, unfortunately, no. The maximum one can miss and still graduate with a certificate is 2 modules, which amounts to about 1 day on weekend sessions. So if you miss more than 1 day total you can’t graduate.

    • Muna

      Hello there,
      If I had already took 48hrs about 6 years ago and but never opened the business but decided to now go forward with the business, would my 48hrs that I was certified work?

      • Joseph Spada

        Yes, it will work. This certification does not expire.

    • Triana Chambers

      I was wondering if payments are accepted for this class.

      • Joseph Spada

        Yes. I will be teaching the AFH Administrator certification class from Nov 11 to Dec 10 2017. To register, you can call the College at (206) 934-3705.

    • Nikki

      Hi! My name is Nikki, I read your class description and it sounds awesome? do you provide online training classes for beginning a AFH business at Seattle college??? I live in PA and they do not have any information/trainings on AFH businesses, and I don’t know if I can operate as a business in PA or go to another state.. I am a part time social worker, and I am interested in opening an AFH business for young adults with mental health diagnosis, additionally I want to add a therapy model for the home business, plus , I don’t own a home.. so I really don’t know where to start with this whole business process!! I really need an information class on how I should begin with this vision.. Thanks!


      • Joseph Spada

        In Washington state, the adult family home administrator certification is required, and it must be taught at a local college. That’s what I teach.

        I believe There are regulations in PA Governing adult family homes or residential care homes (whatever they are called PA), So I would suggest that you look at the Department of health in your state to find out what those regulations are so you can inform yourself as to the requirements that are in effect to become licensed.

        Once you’re familiar with those regulations, I would certainly be happy to talk with you About the best way to start, grow, and prosper In this Business, Especially how to use your unique talents and expertise to Create a unique and highly desirable service help you stand out and succeed.

        But again, your first step is to find out what specific licensing regulations are in effect in your state in order to become licensed.

        Good luck!

    • Mary

      My name Mary. I am a Registered Nurse by profession. Do I still need the all the classes required to operate an AFH?
      What is the schedule for September or October for the 52hr course?
      Is there an equivalent class that is offered online that meets the requirments?

    • Dan Kerber

      Just a Few Questions, if you don’t mind 🙂
      1) My wife would like to Register for the classes starting 7/1/17
      can she register for the class at Orientation in June since the course (NUR155) is not yet listed under on the schools online registration page & if not, when will the post the option to register online?

      2) If she already has a Long Term Resident living in our home can she accept a Short Term Resident (for like a week) OR another client as a Adult Day Care provider, in our home, without violating laws?

      3) Most important, is this a Pass / Fail Class or just course completion to qualify for applying for a AFH License? If a pass/fail class – is there a Final Exam and what is the passing score?

      4) My wife will be the sole proprietorship of the bizz & will eventually hire additional licensed care takers to assist her – however, i will handle the finical aspects of the biz – Do i also need to take this class (i am not care taker) so she qualifies to Apply for the AFH License?

      • Joseph Spada

        Your wife can register before or after the DSHS orientation, so long as registration for the summer quarter is already open. Call registration office at (206) 934-3705.

        Providing residential care to more than ONE frail adult in your home requires a license. Unfortunately I don’t know about the adult day care rules. I would search the WAC for the relevant Adult Day Health/Care regulation… “DSHS adult day health [or care] licensed required”

        There are 4 quizes and a 50-questions final exam. Students must pass with 80%.

        The person listed on the license is the only one required to have this Administrator training.


    • tanya

      I will be start class 13 may ,in college will be close ,you can help,tell me number class ,where is find building ,thank you.

      • Joseph Spada

        The class will be SAT and SUN from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM, starting May 13.
        The class number is IB 1409, which is the Instruction Building, 1st floor, at the north end of the campus.
        See you then!

    • Nina

      Do you need buy some books to study administrator class ?

      • Joseph

        No. The book is included in the class at no extra cost.

      • Joseph Spada

        One book, and it’s included with the class. The rest is homework 🙂

    • Jacque

      May 13 to June 4 th but registering shows 13 to 11 June

      • Joseph Spada

        I believe the May 27-28 weekend is a Holiday, so there is no class. Pushes the finish date by 1 week.

    • Nina

      Hello Joseph , Do you have next class 5/13–6/4 /2017 .?

    • Nina

      Hello ,i m so sorry i disturbing you, my name is Nina,do you have class now?, i could take a class this saturday and sunday please ? i need a certificate soon.

    • Nina

      I would like to find next available class?

      • Nina

        To bad ,I would like to your class ,soon is possible ,maybe to you have personal lessons ?my phone 206-823-4593

      • Joseph Spada

        It has to be through the College for you to get your certificate – Sorry. Just follow the link or call the number I gave in the previous response to register in the next available session /class.

    • Nina

      Hello my name is Nina,I’m looking class administrator ,do you have a class in March ?my #206 -823-4593,thank you.

      • Joseph Spada

        Hi Nina. My next AFH Administrator class is scheduled for Spring quarter at North Seattle College. The class starts Saturday 5/13, and ends on June 11 — Sat-Sun 9 am to 3:30 pm. (no classes the Memorial Day weekend 5/27 & 28).

        There is an earlier class with a different instructor… If you want me as the instructor, just let the College know when you register and they will reserve you a seat in my class 🙂

        In any case, see this page to register:

    • charity

      I have tried to register for Feb 11th- Mar 5th AFH administrator class but I can’t. can you please advise..

      • Joseph Spada

        Charity: I am teaching this course starting this Saturday, February 11. The best thing at this point is to call North Seattle College directly so they can you register. Speak with Marci Shaw (206) 934-4628. Hope to see you there!

      • Joseph Spada

        Give me a call if you can.

    • Catherine Ngugi

      Do you a Friday and Saturday class as this are the only days am available due to work schedule,

      • Joseph Spada

        Unfortunately no. Right now it is Saturday and Sunday schedule.

    • Jim


      Was wondering if you have classes available anytime from September 2016 ?

    • JZ


      • Joseph Spada

        Yes you can operate with ONE client without a license, you will not get a citation. You cannot have more than one without a license. Good luck and congratulations!

    • Jong Soon Park


      My name is Jong Soon Park.
      You can call me Angela.
      I just came from NY to open AFH in Marysville.
      I will start to take courses to get a license.
      Can you please let me know it is possible to take AFH Administrator Training course before I take 72hours core basic courses.
      I would like to take summer classes but I do not know I can take your classes without taking 72 hours.

      Than you in advance!

      • Joseph Spada

        Angela: yes, you can take the 48-hour administrator certification any time, before or after the core training.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.