2022 Edition

Group Living Services (CA-GLS) 8: Group Living Program

Residents participate in the development of a group living program that is individually tailored to their age, developmental level, social and emotional needs, strengths, and interests.




Group Living Services allow individuals who need additional support to regain, maintain, and improve life skills and functioning in a safe, stable, community-based living arrangement.
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
  • Sample of activity schedules
  • Procedures for involving residents in decision making and collecting and responding to resident feedback
No On-Site Evidence
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Residents
  • Review case records
  • Observe the program


CA-GLS 8.01

Group living services are integrated with the resident’s daily living experience and include, as appropriate:
  1. treatment for severe emotional disturbance or mental health and substance use conditions;
  2. individual and group counselling;
  3. peer support;
  4. family therapy;
  5. educational and/or vocational programming;
  6. linkages to needed services in the community;
  7. life skills training;
  8. recreational activities;
  9. legal advocacy;
  10. opportunities to participate in religious observances in a faith or spirituality of choice;
  11. community cultural enrichment, shopping, volunteer and paid work activities; and
  12. independent living preparation.


CA-GLS 8.02

Residents, and family members when appropriate, are given the opportunity for meaningful voice and choice in program activities and governance including:
  1. participating in the development and enforcement of program rules;
  2. contributing to program design and decision making; and
  3. sharing feedback including dissatisfaction with aspects of the program.


The organization should have mechanisms in place to receive and respond to resident feedback to ensure their contributions are meaningful.  Residents should be informed of how the organization will use their feedback and be made aware of any changes that were made in response to their input.
Examples: The establishment of resident councils is one way to involve individuals in decisions and program design and ensure that they have an opportunity to provide feedback on staff, activities, rules, food, their overall care experience, sense of safety and support, and the living environment. This type of activity can also provide opportunities for youth advocacy, self-efficacy, and leadership. For programs serving youth, family advisory councils can be established to involve families in the governance of the program.


CA-GLS 8.03

Residents are provided with:
  1. a variety of nutritious meals and snacks;
  2. personal items such as clothing and an individual allowance;
  3. companionship;
  4. support and assistance needed to participate in community activities and contribute to the resident community; and
  5. a flexible daily schedule to develop and enhance positive personal and interpersonal skills and behaviours.


Special diets should be planned to meet the modified needs of individual residents.