2022 Edition

Case Management (CA-CM) 3: Intake and Assessment

The organization's intake and assessment practices ensure that individuals and families receive prompt and responsive access to appropriate services.

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Individuals and families who receive Case Management services access and use resources and supports that build on their strengths and meet their service needs.
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • In a few rare instances, urgent needs were not prioritized; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Culturally responsive assessments are the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Urgent needs are often not prioritized; or 
  • Services are frequently not initiated in a timely manner; or
  • Applicants are not receiving referrals, as appropriate; or 
  • Assessment and reassessment timeframes are often missed; or
  • Assessments are sometimes not sufficiently individualized; 
  • Culturally responsive assessments are not the norm, and this is not being addressed in supervision or training; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent; or
  • Intake or assessment is done by another organization or referral source and no documentation and/or summary of required information is present in case record. 
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • There are no written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.  
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Screening and intake procedures
  • Assessment and re-assessment procedures
  • Copy of assessment tool(s)
  • Community resource and referral list
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Persons served
  • Review case records


CA-CM 3.01

Individuals and families are screened and informed about:
  1. how well the request matches the organization's services; and 
  2. what services will be available and when.
NA Another organization is responsible for screening, as defined in a contract.

Fundamental Practice

CA-CM 3.02

Prompt, responsive intake practices:
  1. include screening for level or intensity of service;
  2. gather information necessary to identify critical service needs and/or determine when a more intensive service is necessary;
  3. give priority to urgent needs and emergency situations;
  4. support timely initiation of services; and
  5. provide for placement on a waiting list or referral to appropriate resources when individuals and families cannot be served or cannot be served promptly.


CA-CM 3.03

Individuals and families participate in an individualized, culturally and linguistically responsive assessment that is:
  1. completed within established timeframes;  
  2. updated as needed based on the needs of persons served; and
  3. focused on information pertinent for meeting service requests and objectives.


The Assessment Matrix - Private, Public, Canadian, Network determines which level of assessment is required for COA’s Service Sections. The assessment elements of the Matrix can be tailored according to the needs of specific individuals or service design.


CA-CM 3.04

The organization conducts the assessment in-person, in a place of the individual’s or family's choice, when possible, and: 
  1. includes assessment of natural supports and helping networks; and 
  2. promptly provides or makes arrangements for specialized assessments, as needed.


CA-CM 3.05

Individuals and families participate in a formal re-assessment annually or more frequently based on the following criteria:
  1. within five working days of a precipitating event;
  2. when there is a change in their status or circumstances, or a new issue arises; and
  3. within 48 hours of notification that hospital or institutional discharge is imminent.


An organization that, due to contractual requirements, is unable to conduct event-based re-assessments according to these timeframes should modify them to meet the needs and goals of persons served.