2022 Edition

Out-of-School Time Services (CA-OST) 8: Community Relationships and Partnerships

Connections with other community organizations, institutions, and members help the organization support and engage children and youth.


Viewing: CA-OST 8 - Community Relationships and Partnerships



Children and youth who participate in Out-of-School Time programs gain the personal, social, emotional, and educational assets needed to support healthy development, increase well-being, and facilitate a successful transition through childhood and adolescence, and into adulthood.
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
No Self-Study Evidence
  • List of community organizations, institutions, and resources (including both current and potential partners)
  • Documentation of collaboration efforts, including collaboration with school personnel if applicable (e.g., meeting minutes, correspondence, agreements, contracts, etc.)
  • Documentation of activities that connect children and youth with the community (e.g., in activity plans)
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Children, youth, and families
    4. Program host, if applicable and possible
  • Observe interactions between personnel and program host, where applicable and possible


CA-OST 8.01

The organization develops and maintains a list of community organizations and institutions to identify the potential for collaboration and partnerships consistent with the program’s goals and areas of focus.
Examples: Relevant community organizations and institutions may include, but are not limited to: schools; libraries; parks; community centers; recreation and athletic services and facilities; cultural institutions (e.g., museums or theatres); community colleges and universities; local businesses; faith-based institutions; and other out-of-school time programs.


CA-OST 8.02

The organization establishes partnerships that enable it to sustain and enhance programming by facilitating access to resources that include:
  1. needed space, transportation, equipment, supplies, and funding, including sources of subsidy that can help make the program affordable;
  2. experts with specialized content knowledge relevant to programming and activities;
  3. opportunities for staff training and professional development;
  4. opportunities to recruit potential personnel and volunteers; and
  5. opportunities to recruit prospective program participants.


CA-OST 8.03

The organization partners with school-day personnel to: 
  1. ensure that programming and activities complement, extend, and expand school day learning;
  2. learn about the strengths, needs, and progress of children and youth; 
  3. communicate information about children and youth’s performance and progress at the program; and
  4. design a schedule that complements and extends the school-day routine, to the extent possible and appropriate.


While implementation of this standard may be especially critical when an organization partners with a school to offer academic programming and/or homework help, building relationships with school-day personnel can be beneficial for all types of programs. If an organization finds it challenging to establish partnerships with school-day personnel, it may make sense to consider building relationships with appropriate staff at the district level. This may be especially relevant when an organization serves students who attend different schools.
NA The organization does not run a program designed to collaborate with a school.


CA-OST 8.04

Children and youth are provided with opportunities to get to know, become involved with, and contribute to their communities.
Examples: Children and youth may contribute to the community through activities such as community service or service learning. Some organizations may also strive to remain aware of, and encourage children and youth to attend, outside opportunities and events related to programming and areas of interest. In some cases implementation of this standard may overlap with some aspects of CA-OST 8.02, regarding utilization of community resources. For example, recruiting and matching children with volunteer mentors will simultaneously foster children’s connection to the community.