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.


Viewing: CA-DV 9 - Rights of Shelter and Safe Home Residents



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


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.