CA-DV Standard. Generated 9/25/2022. ©2022 Council on Accreditation.
2022 Edition

Domestic Violence Services Definition

Purpose

Individuals who receive Domestic Violence Services gain a sense of empowerment, improve their well-being, and increase their ability to live safely and independently.

Definition

Domestic Violence Services provide a range of supportive services appropriate to the needs and preferences of survivors of partner abuse, including crisis assistance, safety planning, advocacy, case management, material assistance, counselling, and/or housing.
Note: These standards apply to programs both with or without a housing component (i.e. shelters and safe homes). 

Organizations that provide only crisis hotline services will be reviewed under Crisis Response and Information Services (CA-CRI), not Domestic Violence Services (CA-DV).


Note: Individuals experiencing domestic violence may be referred to as “victims” or “survivors.” The term “survivors” is used in these standards to encourage service delivery that promotes the empowerment of service recipients.

Note: Please see CA-DV Reference List for the research that informed the development of these standards.

Note: For information about changes made in the 2020 Edition, please see the DV Crosswalk.
 
2022 Edition

Domestic Violence Services (CA-DV) 1: Person-Centered Logic Model

The organization implements a program logic model that describes how resources and program activities will support the achievement of positive outcomes.
1
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.

Logic models have been implemented for all programs and the organization has identified at least two outcomes for all its programs.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,  
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • Logic models need improvement or clarification; or
  • Logic models are still under development for some of its programs, but are completed for all high-risk programs such as protective services, foster care, residential treatment, etc.; or
  • At least one client outcome has been identified for all of its programs; or
  • All but a few staff have been trained on use of therapeutic interventions and training is scheduled for the rest; or
  • With few exceptions the policy on prohibited interventions is understood by staff, or the written policy needs minor clarification.
3
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
  • Logic models need significant improvement; or
  • Logic models are still under development for a majority of programs; or
  • A logic model has not been developed for one or more high-risk programs; or
  • Outcomes have not been identified for one or more programs; or
  • Several staff have not been trained on the use of therapeutic interventions; or
  • There are gaps in monitoring of therapeutic interventions, as required; or
  • There is no process for identifying risks associated with use of therapeutic interventions; or
  • Policy on prohibited interventions does not include at least one of the required elements.
4
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.,
  • Logic models have not been developed or implemented; or
  • Outcomes have not been identified for any programs; or
  • There is no written policy or procedures for the use of therapeutic interventions; or 
  • Procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or
  • Documentation on therapeutic interventions is routinely incomplete and/or missing; or
  • There is evidence that clients have been harmed by inappropriate or unmonitored use of therapeutic interventions.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • See program description completed during intake
  • Program logic model that includes a list of outcomes being measured
  • Procedures for the use of therapeutic interventions
  • Training curricula that addresses therapeutic interventions
  • Documentation of training and/or certification related to therapeutic interventions
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel

 

CA-DV 1.01

A program logic model, or equivalent framework, identifies:
  1. needs the program will address;
  2. available human, financial, organizational, and community resources (i.e. inputs);
  3. program activities intended to bring about desired results;
  4. program outputs (i.e. the size and scope of services delivered);
  5. desired outcomes (i.e. the changes you expect to see in service recipients); and
  6. expected long-term impact on the organization, community, and/or system.
Examples: Please see the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Logic Model Development Guide and COA’s PQI Tool Kit for more information on developing and using program logic models.

Examples: Information that may be used to inform the development of the program logic model includes, but is not limited to: 
  1. needs assessments and periodic reassessments; 
  2. risk assessments conducted for specific interventions; and
  3. the best available evidence of service effectiveness.

 

CA-DV 1.02

The logic model identifies client outcomes in at least two of the following areas:
  1. change in clinical status;
  2. change in functional status;
  3. health, welfare, and safety;
  4. permanency of life situation; 
  5. quality of life; 
  6. achievement of individual service goals; and 
  7. other outcomes as appropriate to the program or service population.
Example: Outcomes data can be disaggregated by race or ethnicity to identify and monitor disparities in service provision or effectiveness.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-DV 1.03

The organization:
  1. ensures personnel are trained on therapeutic interventions prior to coming in contact with the service population;
  2. monitors the use and effectiveness of therapeutic interventions;
  3. identifies potential risks associated with therapeutic interventions and takes appropriate steps to minimize risk, when necessary; and
  4. discontinues an intervention immediately if it produces adverse side effects or is deemed unacceptable according to prevailing professional standards.
NA The organization does not use therapeutic interventions. 

 

CA-DV 1.04

Organization policy prohibits: 

  1. corporal punishment; 
  2. the use of aversive stimuli; 
  3. interventions that involve withholding nutrition or hydration, or that inflict physical or psychological pain; 
  4. the use of demeaning, shaming, or degrading language or activities; 
  5. forced physical exercise to eliminate behaviours; 
  6. unwarranted use of invasive procedures or activities as a disciplinary action; 
  7. punitive work assignments; 
  8. punishment by peers; and 
  9. group punishment or discipline for individual behaviour.

Note: See CA-DV 7.02 for more information regarding corporal punishment and children. 

 
2022 Edition

Domestic Violence Services (CA-DV) 2: Personnel

Program personnel have the competency and support needed to provide services and meet the needs of survivors.

Interpretation

Competency can be demonstrated through education, training, or experience, including both work and life experience. Support can be provided through supervision or other learning activities to improve understanding or skill development in specific areas.
1
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.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,  
  • With some exceptions, staff (direct service providers, supervisors, and program managers) possess the required qualifications, including education, experience, training, skills, temperament, etc., but the integrity of the service is not compromised; or
  • Supervisors provide additional support and oversight, as needed, to the few staff without the listed qualifications; or 
  • Most staff who do not meet educational requirements are seeking to obtain them; or 
  • With few exceptions, staff have received required training, including applicable specialized training; or
  • Training curricula are not fully developed or lack depth; or
  • Training documentation is consistently maintained and kept up-to-date with some exceptions; or
  • A substantial number of supervisors meet the requirements of the standard, and the organization provides training and/or consultation to improve competencies when needed; or
  • With few exceptions, caseload sizes are consistently maintained as required by the standards or as required by internal policy when caseload has not been set by a standard; or
  • Workloads are such that staff can effectively accomplish their assigned tasks and provide quality services and are adjusted as necessary; or
  • Specialized services are obtained as required by the standards.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards.  Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • A significant number of staff (direct service providers, supervisors, and program managers) do not possess the required qualifications, including education, experience, training, skills, temperament, etc.; and as a result, the integrity of the service may be compromised; or
  • Job descriptions typically do not reflect the requirements of the standards, and/or hiring practices do not document efforts to hire staff with required qualifications when vacancies occur; or 
  • Supervisors do not typically provide additional support and oversight to staff without the listed qualifications; or
  • A significant number of staff have not received required training, including applicable specialized training; or
  • Training documentation is poorly maintained; or
  • A significant number of supervisors do not meet the requirements of the standard, and the organization makes little effort to provide training and/or consultation to improve competencies; or
  • There are numerous instances where caseload sizes exceed the standards' requirements or the requirements of internal policy when a caseload size is not set by the standard; or
  • Workloads are excessive, and the integrity of the service may be compromised; or 
  • Specialized staff are typically not retained as required and/or many do not possess the required qualifications; or
  • Specialized services are infrequently obtained as required by the standards.
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • List of program personnel that includes:
    • Title
    • Name
    • Employee, volunteer, or independent contractor
    • Degree or other qualifications
    • Time in current position
  • See organizational chart submitted during application
  • Table of contents of training curricula
  • Procedures or other documentation relevant to continuity of care and case assignment
  • Sample job descriptions from across relevant job categories
  • Documentation tracking staff completion of required trainings and/or competencies
  • Training curricula
  • Caseload size requirements set by policy, regulation, or contract, when applicable
  • Documentation of current caseload size per worker

  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
  • Review personnel files

 

CA-DV 2.01

Direct service personnel are qualified by a community college diploma or bachelor’s degree in social work or a comparable human service field and/or appropriate training and experience.

Interpretation

Personnel degree qualifications should be appropriate to the services being provided.

 

CA-DV 2.02

The program director has a bachelor’s degree and two years' experience working with survivors, at a minimum.

 

CA-DV 2.03

The individual who has administrative responsibility for shelter operations has:
  1. at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent and two years' experience in human services; or
  2. substantial experience in human services, including at least two years' experience in shelter services.
NA The organization does not provide shelter services.

 

CA-DV 2.04

All direct service personnel are trained on, or demonstrate competency in:
  1. empowering and communicating empathetically with survivors;
  2. assessing risks and safety;
  3. developing safety plans;
  4. recognizing and addressing barriers to escaping abuse or accessing services;
  5. recognizing the presence of medical or health problems;
  6. recognizing and responding to the co-occurrence of domestic violence, substance use conditions, and mental health conditions;
  7. managing stress; and
  8. setting appropriate boundaries with survivors.

 

CA-DV 2.05

Personnel providing services in a group setting are trained on, or demonstrate competency in:
  1. engaging and motivating group members;
  2. educating group members;
  3. understanding group dynamics;
  4. leading discussions; and
  5. facilitating group activities.
NA The organization does not provide services in a group setting.

 

CA-DV 2.06

Personnel who work directly with children, or with survivors who have children, are trained on, or demonstrate competency in:
  1. child development;
  2. possible effects of witnessing domestic violence;
  3. collaborating with child protective services; and
  4. non-violent discipline methods.
NA The organization does not serve survivors who have children.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-DV 2.07

There is at least one person on duty at each program site any time the program is in operation that has received first aid and age-appropriate CPR training in the previous two years that included an in-person, hands-on CPR skills assessment conducted by a certified CPR instructor.
NA The organization does not provide shelter services.

 

CA-DV 2.08

The organization minimizes the number of workers assigned to the survivor over the course of their contact with the organization by:
  1. assigning a worker at intake or early in the contact; and
  2. avoiding the arbitrary or indiscriminate reassignment of direct service personnel.

 

CA-DV 2.09

Employee workloads support the achievement of survivor outcomes and are regularly reviewed.
Examples: Factors that may be considered when determining employee workloads include, but are not limited to:
  1. the qualifications, competencies, and experience of the worker, including the level of supervision needed;
  2. the work and time required to accomplish assigned tasks and job responsibilities; and
  3. service volume, accounting for assessed level of needs of survivors.
 
2022 Edition

Domestic Violence Services (CA-DV) 3: Access to Service

The organization ensures the accessibility of its services to survivors who need help planning for and achieving physical, emotional, and psychological safety and well-being.
1
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.
2
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
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is 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.
3
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
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
4
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.,
  • 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
No Self-Study Evidence
  • Outreach strategies and informational materials
  • 24-hour staff coverage schedule for past six months (or evidence of collaboration with a community telephone network or emergency response centre)
  • List of community organizations with which the organization collaborates
  • Documentation of collaboration efforts
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Survivors

 

CA-DV 3.01

To ensure that survivors are aware of and can access available services, the organization provides information and education throughout the community.
Examples: Appropriate outreach can include posters, pamphlets, public service announcements, and direct contact with those who may interact with the target population. Community providers likely to encounter survivors include law enforcement and legal services; child protective services; medical and health care providers; mental health care providers; substance abuse service providers; and public assistance offices.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-DV 3.02

The organization provides 24-hour access to services either:
  1. directly (e.g., through a 24-hour hotline or cell phones); or
  2. through a community telephone network or emergency response centre.

Interpretation

A community telephone network or emergency response centre must: 
  1. employ trained individuals; 
  2. return calls within a 15-minute timeframe; and 
  3. have procedures that address how phone calls are returned without increasing risk to survivors.

 

CA-DV 3.03

The organization works with community partners and resources to address and minimize barriers that may prevent individuals from seeking or obtaining services.
Examples: Factors that may impact whether survivors will seek or obtain services may include, but are not limited to: disabilities, mental health conditions, substance use conditions, cultural differences, lack of English proficiency, immigration status, age, sexual orientation, and having teenage male children.
 
2022 Edition

Domestic Violence Services (CA-DV) 4: Intake, Assessment, and Safety Planning

The organization ensures survivors receive prompt and responsive access to appropriate services and works with survivors to develop individualized safety plans.
1
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.
2
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.
3
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. 
4
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
  • Safety assessment procedures
  • Copy of safety assessment tool(s)
  • Safety planning procedures
  • Assessment procedures
  • Copy of assessment tool(s)
  • Procedures for protecting the safety of survivors when perpetrators are involved in services, if applicable
  • Community resource and referral list
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Survivors
  • Review case records

 

CA-DV 4.01

Survivors are screened and informed about:
  1. how well their 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-DV 4.02

Prompt, responsive intake practices:
  1. gather information necessary to identify critical service needs and/or determine when a more intensive service is necessary;
  2. give priority to urgent needs, emergency situations, and individuals at greatest risk; 
  3. support timely initiation of services; and
  4. provide referral to appropriate resources when individuals cannot be served or cannot be served promptly.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-DV 4.03

Within 24 hours or the first working day after initiation of services, survivors participate in an initial assessment of:
  1. immediate needs, including medical and dental care, legal assistance, food, shelter, and clothing; and
  2. safety and risk factors for the survivor, the survivor’s children, and any other involved family members.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-DV 4.04

Safety planning helps the survivor assess short- and long-term physical and emotional risks and develop a comprehensive, detailed safety plan that:
  1. reflects the survivor’s particular needs, goals, strengths, risks, and circumstances;
  2. identifies and builds upon available and realistic options and resources; 
  3. prepares the survivor to promote safety in various places, circumstances, and situations, including preparing for immediate escape when necessary;
  4. responds to the needs of children, as appropriate; and
  5. is regularly re-evaluated to ensure that it continues to meet the survivor’s needs.

Interpretation

Safety planning must be conducted regardless of whether the survivor has left the perpetrator, is in the process of leaving the perpetrator, or will remain involved with the perpetrator. Plans for immediate escape should identify safe places to go in an emergency, safe contacts, and items to take when leaving.

 

CA-DV 4.05

Survivors 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.

 

CA-DV 4.06

Comprehensive assessments:
  1. identify strengths;
  2. include a description of the presenting problem, any history of violence, and any other related risks; and
  3. evaluate the impact of the problem on children, as applicable, and their need for assistance.

Interpretation

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.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-DV 4.07

Survivors who wish to include or involve perpetrators in services are helped to:
  1. explore their motivation and intent for involving the perpetrator; and 
  2. evaluate the risks involved.

Interpretation

This standard does not require organizations to involve perpetrators in services. If perpetrators are involved in services the organization should have procedures to protect the safety and well-being of survivors and their children, and the survivor’s safety plan should address issues specific to perpetrator involvement. COA cautions against engaging survivors and perpetrators in services requiring cooperative participation (e.g., couples counselling) due to the potential for danger, as well as the power disparities between perpetrators and survivors.
 
2022 Edition

Domestic Violence Services (CA-DV) 5: Service Planning and Monitoring

Each survivor participates in the development and ongoing review of a service plan that is the basis for delivery of appropriate services and support.
1
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.
2
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
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • In a few instances, client or staff signatures are missing and/or not dated; or
  • With few exceptions, staff work with persons served, when appropriate, to help them receive needed support, access services, mediate barriers, etc.; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
3
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
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • In several instances, client or staff signatures are missing and/or not dated; or
  • Quarterly reviews are not being done consistently; or
  • Level of care for some clients is clearly inappropriate; or
  • Service planning is often done without full client participation; or
  • Appropriate family involvement is not documented; or  
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing; or
  • Individual staff members work with persons served, when appropriate, to help them receive needed support, access services, mediate barriers, etc., but this is the exception.
4
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.,
  • 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
  • Service planning and monitoring procedures
No On-Site Evidence
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Survivors
  • Review case records

 

CA-DV 5.01

An assessment-based service plan is developed in a timely manner with the full participation of the survivor, and other non-offending family members as appropriate and with the consent of the survivor, and includes: 
  1. agreed upon goals, desired outcomes, and timeframes for achieving them;
  2. services and supports to be provided, and by whom;
  3. possibilities for maintaining and strengthening family relationships and other informal social networks; 
  4. procedures for expedited service planning when crisis or urgent need is identified; and
  5. the survivor’s signature.

Interpretation

Although personnel should help identify available services and evaluate options, survivors should be the primary planners of their goals and objectives, and have the right to make their own decisions and decline services.

 

CA-DV 5.02

The organization works in active partnership with survivors to:
  1. assume a service coordination role, as appropriate, when the need has been identified and no other organization has assumed that responsibility;
  2. ensure that they receive appropriate advocacy support;
  3. assist with access to the full array of services to which they are eligible;
  4. mediate barriers to services within the service delivery system; and
  5. prepare community providers to meet survivors’ needs.

 

CA-DV 5.03

The worker and a supervisor, or a clinical, service, or peer team, review the case bi-weekly when providing residential services and quarterly when providing non-residential services, or more frequently depending on the needs of survivors, to assess:
  1. service plan implementation;
  2. progress toward achieving service goals and desired outcomes; and
  3. the continuing appropriateness of the agreed upon service goals.

Interpretation

When experienced workers are conducting reviews of their own cases, the worker’s supervisor must review a sample of the worker’s evaluations as per the requirements of the standard.

 

CA-DV 5.04

The worker and survivor: 
  1. review progress toward achievement of agreed upon service goals; and 
  2. sign revisions to service goals and plans.
 
2022 Edition

Domestic Violence Services (CA-DV) 6: Advocacy and Support Services

Survivors receive a range of supportive services that promote well-being and independence.
1
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.
2
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
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is 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.
3
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
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
4
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.,
  • 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
  • Table of contents of educational curricula
  • Procedures for referring survivors to services
  • Informational materials provided to survivors
  • Educational curricula
  • Community resource and referral list
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Survivors
  • Review case records

 

CA-DV 6.01

The program’s services and personnel:
  1. recognize individual and family values and goals;
  2. accommodate variations in lifestyles;
  3. emphasize personal growth, development, and situational change; and
  4. aim to help survivors gain confidence in their personal abilities.
Examples: Involving survivors in program development may be one way of promoting both responsive programming and the empowerment of survivors.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-DV 6.02

The organization provides survivors with the resources needed to report domestic violence, sexual assault, or child maltreatment, if they elect to do so.

 

CA-DV 6.03

Survivors receive assistance with housing that includes, as needed:
  1. information about available housing options;
  2. help finding a safe, stable living arrangement; and
  3. education on tenant rights and responsibilities.
Examples: Appropriate housing options can include: (1) finding a new residence and living independently in a new community, (2) residing with friends or relatives, (3) transitional housing, (4) emergency shelter, and (5) returning home with necessary and available legal protections.

 

CA-DV 6.04

Survivors are helped to manage any legal needs they may have, including:
  1. working with law enforcement;
  2. locating attorneys;
  3. obtaining protective orders;
  4. resolving issues related to divorce, custody, visitation, and child support; and
  5. understanding their legal rights.

 

CA-DV 6.05

Comprehensive counselling services are available as needed, and include:
  1. short-term counselling;
  2. long-term counselling; and
  3. support groups.

 

CA-DV 6.06

Employment support promotes survivors’ ability to achieve economic independence and includes help in the following areas, as needed:
  1. obtaining needed educational services; 
  2. developing habits, skills, and self-awareness essential to employability; 
  3. writing resumes, completing job applications, and preparing for interviews; and 
  4. finding and accessing local employment resources and placement options, including on the job training.

 

CA-DV 6.07

Educational offerings promote independence and housing readiness and address, as needed:
  1. activities of daily living;
  2. household management;
  3. budgeting and money management;
  4. credit and debt counselling;
  5. the use of community resources;
  6. information about public assistance; and
  7. interpersonal communication.

 

CA-DV 6.08

When services are provided in a group setting they are: 
  1. designed to respond flexibly to the changing needs of group members; and
  2. scheduled with participants’ time commitments in mind.
NA The organization does not provide services in a group setting.

 

CA-DV 6.09

When services are provided in a group setting, participants have opportunities to:
  1. contribute by sharing their experiences and asking questions;
  2. listen to and learn from those who are similar to and different from themselves;
  3. develop positive relationships with others;
  4. assume responsibilities and develop leadership capacities; and
  5. participate in activities of interest.
NA The organization does not provide services in a group setting.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-DV 6.10

Survivors are linked to a range of other services that include, as needed:
  1. food and nutrition assistance;
  2. health services, including both emergency and routine medical care;
  3. mental health services;
  4. services for substance use conditions;
  5. financial assistance;
  6. transportation assistance;
  7. prenatal health care;
  8. pediatric health care, including well-baby visits and immunizations;
  9. child care; and
  10. family support and strengthening services.

Interpretation

When an organization provides shelter services to survivors’ children, medical and dental assessments for children and youth should be conducted in accordance with well-child guidelines.

Interpretation

Regarding element (c), expectant and recent mothers should be screened for depression, informed about postpartum depression, and connected to available support and treatment services.

 

CA-DV 6.11

Survivors are helped to develop and expand their informal support networks, including connections with friends, extended family, and community members.
 
2022 Edition

Domestic Violence Services (CA-DV) 7: Promoting Child Well-Being

The organization works with survivors to support and promote the well-being of their children.
NA The organization does not serve survivors who have children.
1
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.
2
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
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is 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.
3
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
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
4
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.,
  • 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
  • Procedures for referring children to services
  • Policy prohibiting corporal punishment
  • Procedures for evaluating educational needs and collaborating with schools, if applicable
  • Procedures for obtaining clearance to participate in athletic activities
  • Community resource and referral list
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Survivors, and their children if appropriate
  • Review case records

 

CA-DV 7.01

To promote child well-being, the organization supports survivors’ efforts to care for and nurture their children, and:
  1. offers age-appropriate programming that meets children’s social, emotional, cognitive, and physical needs; or
  2. links children with appropriate services offered by other community providers.
Examples: Appropriate programming and services can include play groups, recreational activities, educational activities, counselling, and therapeutic services.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-DV 7.02

To promote positive parenting practices, the organization:

  1. establishes a policy that prohibits corporal punishment of children by parents and safe home providers;
  2. ensures all parents and safe home providers are informed of this policy; and
  3. promotes and educates parents and safe home providers about alternatives to corporal punishment.

 

CA-DV 7.03

Organizations providing shelter or safe home services evaluate the educational status and needs of school-age children and youth and:
  1. inform survivors of their children’s educational rights;
  2. help survivors coordinate educational services with relevant school districts; and
  3. assist children and youth to stay current with the curricula.
NA The organization does not provide shelter or safe home services.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-DV 7.04

The organization evaluates children and youth for their ability to participate in athletic activities and obtains: 
  1. a written, signed permission slip from their parents or legal guardians; 
  2. a medical records release; and/or
  3. a signed document from a qualified medical professional stating that the child or youth is physically capable of participating.
NA The organization does not offer athletic activities.

 

CA-DV 7.05

When a survivor’s children are involved with child protective services, and with the survivor’s permission, the organization collaborates with the child protective services agency to:
  1. provide needed education about the dynamics of domestic violence;
  2. ensure that family problems are addressed in a cohesive and comprehensive manner; and
  3. promote the best interests of both survivors and their children.
NA The organization does not serve survivors whose children are involved with child protective services.
 
2022 Edition

Domestic Violence Services (CA-DV) 8: Crisis Hotline

Domestic violence hotlines provide immediate support, intervention, information, and referrals to individuals in emergency or crisis situations.
NA The organization does not provide crisis hotline services.
1
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.
2
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
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is 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.
3
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
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
4
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.,
  • 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
  • Crisis response procedures
  • A schedule, or other documentation, indicating that the hotline operates 24 hours a day
  • Community resource and referral list

  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Survivors
  • Observe hotline operations including back up answering and dispatch system

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-DV 8.01

The hotline operates with:
  1. trained crisis workers 24 hours a day, seven days a week;
  2. a live back-up answering service, or equivalent mechanism, when all incoming lines are busy; and
  3. the capacity to dispatch rescue and other services without disconnecting calls.

 

CA-DV 8.02

Crisis intervention personnel respond immediately and:
  1. assess each individual’s specific situation;
  2. refer or connect individuals with appropriate resources; and
  3. provide intervention and stabilization, as necessary and appropriate.

 

CA-DV 8.03

The organization maintains, or has access to, a comprehensive and up-to-date list of community resources that includes:
  1. name, location, and telephone number;
  2. contact person;
  3. services offered;
  4. languages in which services are offered;
  5. fee structure; and
  6. eligibility requirements.

 

CA-DV 8.04

To ensure that emergency services are accessed quickly and efficiently, the organization:
  1. consults with police and fire departments, hospital emergency rooms, mental and physical health crisis teams, and the telephone company; and
  2. establishes written procedures for working with emergency responders.
 
2022 Edition

Domestic Violence Services (CA-DV) 9: Rights of Shelter and Safe Home Residents

The organization respects survivors’ rights, dignity, values, and goals.
NA The organization does not provide shelter or safe home services.
1
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.
2
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
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is 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.
3
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
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
4
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.,
  • 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
  • Shelter or safe home rules
  • Expulsion policy
  • Expulsion procedures
No On-Site Evidence
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Survivors
  • Review case records
  • Observe facility

 

CA-DV 9.01

The shelter or safe home environment promotes a non-threatening, welcoming, and inclusive approach and fosters trust and engagement for all survivors.

 

CA-DV 9.02

Shelter or safe home rules and expectations are:
  1. developed with survivors;
  2. distributed to survivors, or posted in visible locations; and
  3. designed to promote safety, comfort, healing, and empowerment.

Interpretation

Shelter personnel and safe home providers should attempt to appropriately balance the control necessary to run an efficient and comfortable residence with the freedom necessary for survivors to gain a sense of empowerment. Although it is important that there are rules to maintain safety, shelters and safe homes should also enable survivors to regain control of their lives by making decisions about topics such as daily schedules, spending money, and contact with support systems.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-DV 9.03

Written expulsion policies and procedures:
  1. are provided at admission;
  2. are clear and simple, avoiding overly rigid and bureaucratic language and rules;
  3. define specific behaviours, conditions, or circumstances that may result in expulsion, and limit expulsion to extreme situations;
  4. include timely due process provisions;
  5. describe the conditions or process for re-admission; and
  6. require all reasonable efforts be made to provide an appropriate referral.
 
2022 Edition

Domestic Violence Services (CA-DV) 10: Shelter and Safe Home Facilities

The shelter or safe home provides a safe, clean, non-institutional setting that meets residents’ immediate needs.
NA The organization does not provide shelter or safe home services.
1
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.
2
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
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is 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.
3
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
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
4
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.,
  • 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
  • Procedures for facility safety and security
  • Procedures for facility maintenance
  • Procedures for evaluating and monitoring safe homes
  • Table of contents of safe home provider training curricula
  • Criteria for making group assignments
  • Documentation of safe home evaluation and monitoring, if applicable
  • Safe home provider training curricula, if applicable
  • Documentation of safe home provider training, if applicable
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Survivors
  • Observe facility

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-DV 10.01

Shelters and safe homes implement security systems and procedures that include:
  1. protecting the location of the shelter or safe home;
  2. procedures for managing threats to safety; and
  3. ensuring residents, personnel, and safe home providers are aware of potential risks and familiar with all aspects of the security system and procedures.

 

CA-DV 10.02

Accommodations for residents include:
  1. single rooms, rooms for two to four residents, or accommodations for larger groups, if appropriate;
  2. adequately and attractively furnished rooms with a separate bed for each resident, including a clean, comfortable, covered mattress, pillow, sufficient linens, and blankets;
  3. a non-stacking crib for each infant and toddler that is 24 months or younger that meets safety guidelines, as applicable; and
  4. a safe place such as a locker to keep personal belongings and valuables.
Examples: The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) provides standards to ensure safety for full-size and non-full size cribs. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that cribs are used by children under 90 centimeters (35 inches) tall.

 

CA-DV 10.03

Shelters and safe homes meet the basic needs of survivors by providing:
  1. food;
  2. clothing;
  3. personal hygiene supplies; and
  4. safe, private bathroom and shower facilities.

Interpretation

Bathroom and shower facilities may be separate lockable rooms, or lockable stalls.

 

CA-DV 10.04

Shelters and safe homes provide:
  1. sufficient supplies and equipment to meet residents’ needs;
  2. rooms for the provision of on-site services, if applicable;
  3. accommodations for informal gatherings of residents, including during inclement weather; 
  4. adequate facilities for housekeeping, laundry, maintenance, storage, and administrative support functions;
  5. at least one room suitably furnished for the use of on-duty personnel, if applicable; and
  6. private sleeping accommodations for personnel who sleep at the facility, if applicable.

 

CA-DV 10.05

When grouping individuals the shelter or safe home considers the number, age, special needs, and gender of residents.

 

CA-DV 10.06

Shelters and safe homes house families as a unit and keep sibling or family groups together.
NA The shelter or safe home does not serve families, or housing families as a unit is not possible or prohibited by law.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-DV 10.07

The organization ensures that safe homes meet the needs of survivors by:
  1. evaluating each safe home prior to use;
  2. providing safe home providers with orientation prior to housing survivors, and ongoing training and supervision on topics relevant to supporting survivors and their children or other family members, including the importance of protecting confidentiality; and
  3. monitoring safe homes on an ongoing basis.
NA The organization does not provide safe home services.
 
2022 Edition

Domestic Violence Services (CA-DV) 11: Case Closing and Aftercare

The organization works with survivors to plan for case closing and, when possible, to develop aftercare plans.
1
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.
2
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
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • In a few instances, the organization terminated services inappropriately; or  
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent; or
  • A formal case closing evaluation is not consistently provided to the public authority per the requirements of the standard.
3
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
  • Services are frequently terminated inappropriately; or  
  • Aftercare planning is not initiated early enough to ensure orderly transitions; or
  • A formal case closing summary and assessment is seldom provided to the public authority per the requirements of the standard; or  
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
4
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.,
  • 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
  • Case closing procedures
  • Aftercare planning and follow-up procedures
  • Relevant portions of contract with public authority, as applicable
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Survivors
  • Review case records

 

CA-DV 11.01

Planning for case closing:
  1. is a clearly defined process that includes assignment of staff responsibility;
  2. begins at intake; and
  3. involves the worker, the survivor, and others, as appropriate to the needs and wishes of the survivor.

 

CA-DV 11.02

Upon case closing, the organization notifies any collaborating service providers, as appropriate.

 

CA-DV 11.03

If a survivor has to leave the program unexpectedly, the organization makes every effort to identify other service options and link the survivor with appropriate services.

 

CA-DV 11.04

When appropriate, and with the permission of the survivor, the organization works with survivors to: 
  1. develop an aftercare plan, sufficiently in advance of case closing, that identifies short-and long-term needs and goals, facilitates the initiation or continuation of needed supports and services, and identifies sources of informal and social support; or
  2. conduct a formal case closing evaluation, including an assessment of unmet need, when the organization has a contract with a public authority that does not include aftercare planning or follow-up.

 

CA-DV 11.05

The organization follows up on the aftercare plan, as appropriate, when possible, and with the permission of the survivor.
NA The organization has a contract with a public authority that prohibits or does not include aftercare planning or follow-up.
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