2022 Edition

Outreach Services (CA-OS) 4: Service Provision

Outreach services link individuals and families with needed services and housing.

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Outreach Services identify and engage youth, adults, and families experiencing homelessness as a first step to accepting care for immediate health and safety needs, gaining access to community services and resources, taking steps toward community integration, and connecting to safe and stable housing.
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
  • Procedures for referring individuals to services
  • Written procedures and documentation of authority regarding transport to emergency facilities
  • Community resource and referral list
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
  • Review logs, progress notes, or case records, as applicable


CA-OS 4.01

The organization works in active partnership with persons served 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; and
  4. mediate barriers to services within the service delivery system.
Example: Personnel can facilitate and improve access to services by personally introducing service recipients to health, mental health, social service, and mainstream benefit providers.


CA-OS 4.02

Outreach services are flexible and respond to the unique needs of youth, adults, and families experiencing homelessness.


CA-OS 4.03

Outreach services provide, either directly or through referral, an array of services that meet basic needs and help integrate the person or family into the community.
Examples: Needed services may include:
  1. services to meet basic needs, including food, clothing, shelter, hygiene, and laundry;
  2. crisis intervention;
  3. medical/dental evaluation and care;
  4. behavioural health care;
  5. housing assistance;
  6. substance use education and treatment;
  7. legal assistance;
  8. help obtaining documentation, for example birth certificate, photo identification, and/or social security card;
  9. help with mainstream benefit enrollment and renewal applications;
  10. case management;
  11. social support services; 
  12. medical respite care services; and
  13. health information, including information about harm reduction, STDs, HIV/AIDS, and pregnancy prevention.

Fundamental Practice

CA-OS 4.04

When the outreach team has the authority to transport a person involuntarily to an emergency facility, the organization follows written procedures that protect the safety, dignity, and legal rights of the service recipient.
NA The organization does not have the required authority.