CA-SH Standard. Generated 12/04/2022. ©2022 Council on Accreditation.
2022 Edition

Shelter Services Definition

Purpose

Shelter Services meet the basic needs of individuals and families who are homeless or in transition, support family stabilization or independent living, and facilitate access to services and permanent housing.

Definition

Shelter Services provide food, clothing, temporary shelter, and other services to youth, adults, and families experiencing homelessness. COA’s Shelter Services standards accommodate a range of program types providing different levels of service intensity.

Basic Emergency Shelters are low barrier and offer limited services that include a safe place to sleep, food, and connections to supportive services.

Enhanced Emergency Shelters are low barrier and provide or make available a wide range of supportive services in addition to meeting basic needs.

Transitional Housing programs provide temporary housing and supportive services to meet the needs of individuals and families and facilitate a move to independent living.

Youth Shelters serve runaway and homeless children and youth or children and youth in foster care and provide age- and developmentally-appropriate residential and supportive services.
Note: Basic Emergency Shelters will complete: CA-SH 1 through CA-SH 7, and CA-SH 10. 
Enhanced Emergency Shelters and Transitional Housing programs will complete: CA-SH 1 through CA-SH 8, and CA-SH 10. 
Youth Shelters will complete: CA-SH 1 through CA-SH 10.


Note: Though the term "human trafficking" is used throughout this section, there are additional terms that may be utilized, including sex trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), domestic minor sex trafficking, and minor prostitution. The term "victim" is commonly used when referring to individuals who have been trafficked to emphasize that they have been coerced and exploited, though the term "survivor" may also be used.

Note: Please see CA-SH 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 SH Crosswalk.
 
2022 Edition

Shelter Services (CA-SH) 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 client outcomes being measured
  • Policy for prohibited interventions
No On-Site Evidence
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel

 

CA-SH 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. risks assessments conducted for specific interventions; and
  3. the best available evidence of service effectiveness.

 

CA-SH 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-SH 1.03

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.
 
2022 Edition

Shelter Services (CA-SH) 2: Personnel

Program personnel have the competency and support needed to provide services and meet the needs of individuals experiencing homelessness.

Interpretation

Competency can be demonstrated through education, training, or 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
  • Coverage schedules for the past six months
  • 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-SH 2.01

 Personnel providing case management are qualified by: 
  1. a bachelor’s degree in social work or a comparable human service field; or 
  2. at least five years of direct care experience in human services.

 

CA-SH 2.02

Supervisors of direct service personnel are qualified by:
  1. an advanced degree in social work or a comparable human service field and at least two years of direct care experience in human services; or
  2. a bachelor’s degree in social work or a comparable human service field and four years of direct care experience in human services.

 

CA-SH 2.03

When clinical services are provided on-site, experienced personnel with an advanced degree in social work, psychology, counselling, psychiatry, psychiatric nursing, or other human services, provide:
  1. case supervision or case consultation;
  2. overall guidance to the program; and
  3. training of direct service and supervisory personnel.
NA Program personnel do not provide clinical services.

 

CA-SH 2.04

All direct service personnel are trained on, or demonstrate competency in:
  1. understanding homelessness, including the causes and effects of homelessness, overrepresented and vulnerable populations, impact of homelessness on child development, barriers to exiting homelessness, and service needs;
  2. understanding stigma and labelling;
  3. harm reduction; and
  4. recognizing and responding to signs of suicide risk.

 

CA-SH 2.05

All direct service personnel are trained on, or demonstrate competency in, understanding the special service needs of service recipients, including, as appropriate:
  1. individuals coping with substance use and/or mental health issues, including dual diagnosis;
  2. individuals coping with trauma, including how to recognize trauma and appropriate interventions for addressing the acute needs of trauma victims;
  3. individuals with HIV/AIDS;
  4. individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or gender non-conforming;
  5. individuals and families who have been victims of violence, abuse, or neglect;
  6. individuals who may be the victims of human trafficking or sexual exploitation, including screening methods to identify potential victims;
  7. pregnant and parenting mothers and/or fathers with young children;
  8. runaway and homeless children and youth;
  9. persons with current or past criminal justice system involvement;
  10. persons with current or past child protection system involvement;
  11. persons with developmental disabilities; and
  12. older adults.

 

CA-SH 2.06

Case managers and other relevant staff are trained on, or demonstrate competency in:
  1. basic counselling skills;
  2. conducting safety assessments, when service recipients are victims of human trafficking, sexual exploitation, or domestic violence;
  3. conducting assessments using standardized instruments;
  4. local housing resources;
  5. conducting housing searches;
  6. landlord engagement; 
  7. issues related to individuals involved with multiple systems; and
  8. reconnecting runaway and homeless youth to their families.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-SH 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.

 

CA-SH 2.08

Supervisors or other designated personnel are available or on call 24 hours a day.

 

CA-SH 2.09

The organization minimizes the number of workers assigned to persons served 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.

Interpretation

One of the most important aspects of care for victims of human trafficking and other forms of trauma is to be able to develop a consistent, trusting relationship with one staff person who serves as the central coordinator for the full myriad of needed services.

 

CA-SH 2.10

Employee workloads support the achievement of client 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 persons served.
 
2022 Edition

Shelter Services (CA-SH) 3: Intake and Assessment

The organization’s intake and assessment practices ensure that persons served receive prompt and responsive access to appropriate 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
  • 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
  • Copy of screening tool(s)
  • Assessment procedures
  • Copy of assessment tool(s)
  • Community resource and referral list
  • Documentation of collaboration with other community providers and resources
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Persons served
  • Review case records

 

CA-SH 3.01

Individuals or families are admitted regardless of ability to pay, employment status, level of income, criminal record, or sobriety.

Interpretation

If services are limited to a specific population, the program should have a clear policy for such selectivity.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-SH 3.02

Prompt, responsive intake practices:
  1. are trauma-informed;
  2. are non-stigmatizing and non-judgmental;
  3. are culturally and linguistically responsive;
  4. give priority to urgent needs and emergency situations;
  5. support timely initiation of services; and
  6. provide placement on a waiting list or referral to appropriate resources when individuals cannot be served or cannot be served promptly.

Interpretation

Infants and young children who are abandoned at a program site or are not accompanied by a parent or legal guardian should be referred to the child protection authority.

Interpretation

For basic emergency shelters and enhanced emergency shelters, intake should occur on the same day that services are requested.

Interpretation

To ensure that transgender and gender non-conforming service recipients are treated with respect and feel safe, service recipient choice regarding their first names and pronouns should be respected and intake forms and procedures should allow individuals to self-identify their gender and receive access to sleeping quarters, bathroom facilities, and shower facilities, in accordance with applicable legal, regulatory, and/or contractual requirements.

Interpretation

Trauma-informed intake practices explore whether a service recipient has been exposed to traumatic events and exhibits trauma-related symptoms and/or mental health disorders. A positive screen indicates that an assessment or further evaluation by a trained professional is warranted. During the screening process, service recipients should feel emotionally and physically safe.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-SH 3.03

Service recipients participate in an intake screening that includes:
  1. gathering personal and identifying information;
  2. health status, including emergency health needs;
  3. recent housing status;
  4. reason for homelessness;
  5. history of homelessness;
  6. the potential for violence or victimization; and
  7. risk for suicide.
NA Another organization is responsible for screening, as defined in a contract.
Examples: Organizations can respond to identified suicide risk by connecting the individual to more intensive services; facilitating the development of a safety and/or crisis plan; or contacting emergency responders, 24-hour mobile crisis teams, emergency crisis intervention services, crisis stabilisation, or 24-hour crisis hotlines, as appropriate.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-SH 3.04

Children and youth receive an age-appropriate intake screening that includes: 
  1. gathering personal and identifying information;
  2. health status, including emergency health needs; and
  3. education status, including enrollment in early childhood education or school.
NA Another organization is responsible for screening, as defined in a contract.

NA The organization does not admit families with children or children and youth without their parents.

 

CA-SH 3.05

Persons served participate in an individualized, culturally, and linguistically responsive assessment that is:
  1. completed within established timeframes, generally within two weeks of intake; 
  2. updated as needed based on the needs of persons served; and
  3. focused on information pertinent for meeting service requests and objectives.

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.
NA The organization only provides basic emergency shelter.
Examples: The frequency of updates to assessments can vary depending on the ages and needs of service recipients. For example, updates may be conducted more frequently for young children due to the rapid pace of their development.

 

CA-SH 3.06

A comprehensive assessment includes, as appropriate:
  1. employment history;
  2. mainstream benefits history;
  3. housing history for the past five years;
  4. housing barriers;
  5. housing goals and preferences;
  6. veteran status;
  7. level of education and educational goals;
  8. income and resources;
  9. substance use history;
  10. mental health history, diagnoses, and medications;
  11. developmental disability status and history;
  12. family functioning, parental stress, and parenting skills;
  13. a social network inventory, including relationships with family, friends, and/or significant others;
  14. history of childhood victimization and trauma; and
  15. history of adult victimization, including domestic violence and sexual abuse, and imminent and long-term safety concerns.

Interpretation

Personnel that conduct assessments should be aware of the indicators of a potential trafficking victim, including, but not limited to: 
  1. evidence of mental, physical, or sexual abuse; 
  2. physical exhaustion; 
  3. working long hours; 
  4. living with employer or many people in confined area; 
  5. unclear family relationships; 
  6. heightened sense of fear or distrust of authority; 
  7. presence of older male boyfriend or pimp; 
  8. loyalty or positive feelings towards an abuser; 
  9. inability or fear of making eye contact; 
  10. chronic running away or homelessness; 
  11. possession of excess amounts of cash or hotel keys; and 
  12. inability to provide a local address or information about parents.
Several tools are available to help identify a potential victim of trafficking and determine next steps toward an appropriate course of treatment. Examples of these tools include, but are not limited to, the Rapid Screening Tool for Child Trafficking and the Comprehensive Screening and Safety Tool for Child Trafficking.
NA The organization only provides basic emergency shelter.
Examples: Regarding element (n), assessments may explore a range of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), such as emotional, physical, and sexual abuse; violence in the home; household substance use; mental illness in the household; parental divorce or separation; household members with criminal justice involvement; and emotional and physical neglect.

 

CA-SH 3.07

Children and youth receive a comprehensive, age-appropriate assessment that:
  1. evaluates their cognitive, language, motor, behavioural, and social-emotional development; and
  2. takes into account involvement in education, child protection, and/or youth justice systems.

Interpretation

To help decrease family rejection and increase family support for youth who identify as LGBTQ, the assessment should include a network inventory of family relationships, experiences with family rejection, capacity for increasing family acceptance and support, and specific culturally-appropriate education and guidance.
NA The organization only provides basic emergency shelter.

NA The organization does not admit families with children or children and youth without their parents.

 

CA-SH 3.08

Programs facilitate access to the continuum of services through active collaboration with other homelessness service providers and community resources.
Examples: Organizations may collaborate through their community’s coordinated entry processes, if available. Coordinated entry provides equal, nondiscriminatory access to appropriate services regardless of where service recipients present for assistance, and connects service recipients to all available community programs and services, as appropriate. Coordinated entry processes provide access to providers delivering a wide range of services, including both homeless-specific programs and services for the general population. Examples include shelters for domestic violence survivors, runaway and homeless youth programs, street outreach services, homelessness prevention programs, emergency shelters, transitional housing, permanent supportive housing, rapid re-housing, programs for veterans, LGBTQ-affirming services and supports, providers of mainstream benefits and services, health and mental health clinics, employment services, and child development programs. 
 
2022 Edition

Shelter Services (CA-SH) 4: Service Planning and Monitoring

Each service recipient 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. Persons served
  • Review case records

 

CA-SH 4.01

An assessment-based service plan is developed in a timely manner with the full participation of persons served, and their family when appropriate, 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 signature of the individual and their legal guardian, as appropriate.

Interpretation

Strategies for building rapport, establishing trust, and promoting psychological safety are critical when working with victims of trafficking to facilitate the development of realistic goals in an empowering and trauma-informed manner.

Interpretation

Safety concerns for victims of human trafficking and domestic violence often do not end when they are admitted to residential settings, including emergency shelters and transitional housing. The organization should work with the victim to develop a safety plan that focuses on increasing physical safety by securing needed documents, property, and services; maintaining the program's location in confidence; and linking efficiently to law enforcement, if needed.

 

CA-SH 4.02

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.

 

CA-SH 4.03

The worker and a supervisor, or a clinical, service, or peer team, review the case biweekly, or more frequently depending on the needs of persons served, 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-SH 4.04

The worker and individual, and his or her family or legal guardian when appropriate:
  1. review progress toward achievement of agreed upon service goals; and 
  2. sign revisions to service goals and plans.

Interpretation

If the organization provides enhanced emergency shelter services, progress toward achieving service goals should be reviewed with the service recipient every two weeks, or more often depending on the needs of the person or family and/or expected length of stay.
 
2022 Edition

Shelter Services (CA-SH) 5: The Rights of Service Recipients

The organization respects individuals’ rights, dignity, and values.
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
  • Program rules
  • Procedures regarding opening mail of persons served
  • Expulsion policy
  • Expulsion procedures
  • Information regarding service recipientsu2019 rights
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Persons served
  • Review case records

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-SH 5.01

Stays in the program are voluntary, unless legally mandated.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-SH 5.02

The use of services beyond the provision of shelter is voluntary and is not required as a condition of stay.

 

CA-SH 5.03

The environment promotes a non-threatening, welcoming, and inclusive approach, and fosters trust and engagement for all service recipients.

Interpretation

Programs should provide an affirming, safe and welcoming environment for all individuals. Youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender non-conforming (LGBT) are greatly overrepresented among youth experiencing homelessness, and are at higher risk for verbal, physical, and sexual harassment and assault. Programs can help to signal that they provide an environment that is safe and welcoming, for example, by posting “visual cues” in the reception or common area, such as a nondiscrimination policy or LGBTQ symbols (i.e., posters, stickers, and flags), and ensuring that the environment is free from homophobic and transphobic language.
Note: Please see the Facility Observation Checklist for additional guidance on this standard.

 

CA-SH 5.04

Program rules are developed with the participation of service recipients.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-SH 5.05

The organization does not open mail received by a resident unless a previous incident involving the resident indicates that:
  1. the mail is suspected of containing unauthorized, dangerous, or illegal material or substances, in which case it may be opened by the resident in the presence of designated personnel; or
  2. receiving or sending unopened mail is contraindicated.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-SH 5.06

Written expulsion policies and procedures:
  1. are provided at intake;
  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 to the program; and
  6. require all reasonable efforts be made to prevent exits to unsheltered locations.
Examples: Examples of reasons for expulsion include when a service recipient exhibits severely disruptive behaviour or is violent toward self or others.
 
2022 Edition

Shelter Services (CA-SH) 6: Program Facilities

Program facilities provide a physically and psychologically safe, clean, and non-institutional environment.
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
No On-Site Evidence
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Persons served
  • Observe facility and outdoor area/grounds

 

CA-SH 6.01

Accommodations for service recipients include:
  1. single rooms, rooms for two to four individuals, rooms for families with children, 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. safe, private bathroom and shower facilities;
  4. a non-stacking crib for each infant and toddler that is 24 months or younger that meets safety guidelines, as applicable; and
  5. a safe place, such as a locker, to keep personal belongings and valuables.

Interpretation

If the physical housing structure prevents the provision of private rooms, basic emergency shelters, and enhanced emergency shelters may place service recipients in open plan, dormitory-style rooms.

Interpretation

Safe and private bathroom and shower facilities may be separate rooms or stalls with locks. In programs serving families with young children, bathrooms must be appropriate and safe for the care of infants and toddlers (e.g., providing tubs and baby changing areas).
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.
Note: Please see the Facility Observation Checklist for additional guidance on this standard.

 

CA-SH 6.02

Programs provide:
  1. sufficient supplies and equipment to meet service recipients’ needs;
  2. rooms for the provision of on-site services, as applicable;
  3. accommodations for informal gatherings of service recipients, 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; and
  6. private sleeping accommodations for personnel who sleep at the facility, if applicable.
Note: Please see the Facility Observation Checklist for additional guidance on this standard.
 
2022 Edition

Shelter Services (CA-SH) 7: Service Components

The organization provides services that ensure that service recipients are safe and their immediate needs are met.
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 individuals to services
  • Procedures for evaluating educational needs and coordinating educational services
  • Community resource and referral list
  • Criteria for making group assignments
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Persons served
  • Observe facility and outdoor area/grounds
  • Review case records

 

CA-SH 7.01

The organization’s programs provide a minimally intrusive environment that offers safety from the streets and the elements.
Examples: Allowing families to follow their schedules, routines, and rituals to the greatest extent possible can support family functioning, encourage stability, and minimize stress.
Note: Please see the Facility Observation Checklist for additional guidance on this standard.

 

CA-SH 7.02

The organization provides:
  1. nutritious food;
  2. clothing;
  3. personal hygiene supplies; 
  4. crisis intervention;
  5. a mailing address and/or voicemail;
  6. access to a computer and the internet;
  7. information and referral for services; and
  8. connections to behavioural health and medical services.
Examples: Providing service recipients with a private voicemail account may help them to communicate and stay connected with employers, landlords, service providers, and family members.
Note: Please see the Facility Observation Checklist for additional guidance on this standard.

 

CA-SH 7.03

The organization considers the unique characteristics of service recipients when grouping people together.

Interpretation

Characteristics that should be considered can include the number of individuals grouped together, age, special needs, gender, gender identity, and gender expression. All service recipients should be treated according to their self-identified gender, meaning that transgender and gender non-conforming service recipients should be given access to sleeping quarters, bathroom facilities, and services based on their stated gender, not their assigned sex at birth, in accordance with applicable legal, regulatory, and/or contractual requirements.

 

CA-SH 7.04

The organization maintains families as a unit and keeps sibling groups together.
NA The organization does not serve families or children and youth without their parents.

 

CA-SH 7.05

When serving families with children the organization provides or arranges for recreational and educational activities that: 
  1. are appropriate to children’s ages, developmental levels, and cultures, and offer access to appropriate toys and equipment;
  2. encourage play and physical activity; and
  3. are provided in safe, childproofed indoor and outdoor environments.

Interpretation

All toys and equipment must be installed and used according to the manufacturer’s instructions and meet all applicable safety standards.

Interpretation

Activities should be sensitive to the needs of youth who identify as LGBTQ, indigenous groups, and youth with special needs.
NA The organization does not admit families with children.
Examples: Examples of appropriate toys and equipment include: sensory materials, books in the languages spoken by service recipients, art materials, sorting/stacking toys, and gross-motor equipment.
Note: Please see the Facility Observation Checklist for additional guidance on this standard.

 

CA-SH 7.06

The organization evaluates the educational status and needs of children and youth, and:
  1. informs youth and their parents of their educational rights;
  2. connects children ages 0-5 with early childhood learning programs;
  3. coordinates educational services with relevant school districts;
  4. assists college-bound students with federal and provincial student loan and university applications; and
  5. helps children and youth stay current with the curricula by providing time and space for quiet reading and studying, and assistance with school assignments.
NA The organization does not admit families with children or children and youth without their parents.
Note: Please see the Facility Observation Checklist for additional guidance on this standard.

 

CA-SH 7.07

The organization meets the developmental needs of children and youth by: 
  1. facilitating connections to early intervention and trauma-specific services, as necessary;
  2. supporting parents to ensure that children meet age-appropriate developmental milestones; and
  3. providing access to resources and parenting classes on age- and developmentally-appropriate parenting skills and techniques.
NA The organization does not admit families with children or children and youth without their parents.
 
2022 Edition

Shelter Services (CA-SH) 8: Supportive Services

An array of supportive services are provided, directly or by referral, that help service recipients obtain housing and plan for reintegration into community life.
NA The organization does not provide enhanced emergency shelters, transitional housing, or shelters for runaway and homeless children and youth, children and youth in foster care, or unaccompanied children without legal status.
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 individuals to services
  • Table of contents of educational/skills training curricula
  • Community resource and referral list
  • Informational materials provided to service recipients
  • Educational/skills training curricula
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Persons served
  • Review case records

 

CA-SH 8.01

The organization provides case management and other services that are tailored to the needs and preferences of individual service recipients.

Interpretation

To assist youth who identify as LGBTQ with appropriate referrals, programs should maintain a list of community centres, medical and behavioural health clinics, and other service providers that are known to be affirming and competent in serving this population.

 

CA-SH 8.02

Housing support includes:
  1. information about available community housing options;
  2. assistance obtaining a safe, stable living environment, including housing search support;
  3. assistance applying for rental subsidies or other financial aid programs; and
  4. education on tenant rights and responsibilities.
NA The service population is limited to children and youth for whom living independently is not an alternative.

 

CA-SH 8.03

Skills training that promotes independence and/or housing stability includes:
  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 mainstream benefits and employment; and
  7. interpersonal communication, such as conflict avoidance or resolution.
NA The service population is limited to children and youth for whom living independently is not an alternative.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-SH 8.04

Health services include, as needed:
  1. routine medical and dental care, including medical and dental assessments for children and youth that are conducted in accordance with Canadian well-child guidelines, as applicable;
  2. clinical services, including substance use and mental health services;
  3. medication management and/or monitoring;
  4. medical respite care services;
  5. developmentally appropriate information regarding topics including pregnancy prevention, family planning, safe and healthy relationships, and prevention of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases; and
  6. harm reduction that aims to prevent behaviours that can have negative outcomes and/or reduce the negative outcomes associated with the behaviour.

Interpretation

When an organization does not provide linkages to family planning services because doing so is counter to its mission or beliefs, the organization should disclose this fact to service recipients and provide individuals with a list of other community providers that offer pregnancy support and education services.

Interpretation

Transgender service recipients may need assistance accessing specialized medical services and should be referred to appropriate providers in the community, as needed.
Examples: Regarding element (f), interventions and goals may vary depending on the behaviour that is targeted and the population served, for example preventing pregnancy among youth or reducing harm from continued substance use among adults.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-SH 8.05

Pregnant service recipients are provided or linked with specialized services that include, as appropriate: 
  1. pregnancy counselling;
  2. prenatal health care;
  3. genetic risk identification and counselling services;
  4. fetal alcohol syndrome screening;
  5. labour and delivery services;
  6. postpartum care;
  7. mental health care, including information, screening, and treatment for prenatal and postpartum depression;
  8. pediatric health care, including well-baby visits and immunizations;
  9. peer counselling services; and
  10. children’s health insurance programs.

Interpretation

Young service recipients may need more intensive services that are developmentally appropriate for adolescence and early adulthood.
NA The organization does not serve pregnant service recipients.

 

CA-SH 8.06

Pregnant and parenting service recipients are helped to develop skills and knowledge related to: 
  1. basic caregiving routines;
  2. child growth and development;
  3. meeting children’s social, emotional, and physical health needs;
  4. environmental safety and injury prevention;
  5. parent-child interactions and bonding;
  6. age-appropriate behavioural expectations and appropriate discipline; 
  7. family planning; and 
  8. establishing a functioning support network of family members or caring adults.

Interpretation

When an organization does not provide linkages to family planning services because doing so is counter to its mission or beliefs, the organization should disclose this fact to service recipients and provide individuals with a list of other community providers that offer pregnancy support and education services.
NA The organization does not serve pregnant or parenting service recipients.
Examples: Organizations can tailor how topics are addressed based on service recipients’ needs. For example, when serving expectant parents or parents of young children, education on environmental safety and injury prevention will typically address topics such as safe practices for sleeping and bathing.

 

CA-SH 8.07

Support services include, as needed:
  1. transportation;
  2. legal assistance;
  3. case advocacy;
  4. mainstream benefits enrollment;
  5. help with basic literacy;
  6. help with basic computer literacy;
  7. educational services, including G.E.D. preparation;
  8. child care; and
  9. social, cultural, recreational, and religious/spiritual activities.

 

CA-SH 8.08

Employment and vocational support includes helping individuals:
  1. develop the habits, skills, and self-awareness essential to employability;
  2. write resumes, complete job applications, and prepare for interviews; 
  3. find and access local employment resources and placement options, including on-the-job training;
  4. secure childcare while attending interviews; and
  5. travel to interviews and places of employment.
NA The organization only serves youth under 16 years of age.
 
2022 Edition

Shelter Services (CA-SH) 9: Youth Shelter Services

Organizations that serve children and youth, without their parents, provide services that meet their social, emotional, cognitive, behavioural, linguistic, and physical developmental needs.

Interpretation

To ensure that the most vulnerable children and youth are not screened out, programs should adopt a low-barrier for entry model focused on harm reduction.
NA The organization does not provide shelter for runaway and homeless children and youth, children and youth in foster care, or unaccompanied children without legal status.
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 serving youth without their parent or legal guardian, including parental notification procedures
  • Rules and behavioural expectations
  • Procedures for referring individuals to services
  • Client/staff ratios and coverage schedules for the past six months
  • Schedule of program activities
  • Community resource and referral list
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Persons served
  • Observe facility
  • Review case records

 

CA-SH 9.01

Organizations that serve children and youth without their parent or legal guardian:
  1. consult with the child protection authority, as appropriate;
  2. establish or confirm the youth’s legal status; and
  3. obtain authorization to provide care.

 

CA-SH 9.02

Children and youth are informed that their parent or guardian will be notified of their whereabouts, and the organization documents:
  1. exceptions for adolescents who are emancipated minors, who have reached the age of majority, who could be endangered as a result of notification, or who will refuse services if notification is required;
  2. a case supervisor's review prior to notification;
  3. that youth are informed of the planned notification; and
  4. that notification occurred within 72 hours or sooner as required by law.

Interpretation

When the program serves youth under contract with the child protection authority, it should coordinate notification of the child’s parent or legal guardian with the authority.
NA The organization only serves children who have been placed by a public child protection agency.

 

CA-SH 9.03

Organizations assess or confirm the appropriateness of family involvement, and when appropriate:
  1. facilitate an active connection between parents and children;
  2. plan for reconnection and reconciliation with the family; and
  3. provide family support and strengthening services.

Interpretation

In cases where the child is a victim of human trafficking, it is important to be aware that the child’s parent or caregiver may be the trafficker or complicit in the trafficking. In such cases, determining appropriate family supports and level of involvement should include the input of the child, as well as child protection and law enforcement systems.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-SH 9.04

Personnel who directly supervise school-age children and youth provide continuous coverage 24 hours a day, and the adult-child ratio is 1:4 when children under school age are in the service population.

 

CA-SH 9.05

The organization houses no more than 20 children and youth at one location, and in exceptional circumstances, makes necessary physical, administrative, and programatic accommodations to house additional children on a time-limited basis.

Interpretation

If provincial or local licensing authority requires or permits a higher maximum capacity, the organization should: 
  1. supply supporting documentation; and
  2. demonstrate a staff-to-child/youth ratio sufficient to ensure appropriate supervision and treatment.

 

CA-SH 9.06

Children and youth have sufficient uninterrupted sleep and, when practical, follow their usual and familiar routines for bedtime, bathing, and meals.

 

CA-SH 9.07

Program stays are as brief as possible, and do not exceed 30 days unless: 
  1. the safety and/or well-being of runaway and homeless children and youth requires an extended stay (e.g., if family reunification is the preferred outcome and may take longer than 30 days to achieve); or
  2. children and youth in foster care are awaiting placement or experiencing a crisis, and all other appropriate placement options have been exhausted.

 

CA-SH 9.08

The organization meets the need of children and youth by providing:
  1. clear and consistent rules and behavioural expectations;
  2. an organized daily program of age- and developmentally-appropriate social, recreational, and educational activities, in a child- and/or youth-friendly environment; and
  3. opportunities to participate in group activities designed to expand the range of life experiences where children and youth can meet, support, and share experiences with peers, based on their assessed readiness to participate in these activities.

Interpretation

Activities should be sensitive to the needs of youth who identify as LGBTQ, indigenous groups, and youth with special needs.

 

CA-SH 9.09

In an effort to encourage the development of strong and healthy relationships with caring individuals who can provide long-term support, the organization helps youth to:
  1. identify possible sources of support;
  2. foster supportive relationships with current contacts, when it is safe and appropriate to do so; and
  3. develop plans for managing any negative influences in their social support networks.

Interpretation

The organization should work with the child/youth to identify individuals with whom they wish to maintain a relationship, especially when trafficking is suspected. Traffickers may pose as a significant other or older relative, or communicate through another individual and utilize visitation to continue the exploitation of the victim.
Examples: “Caring individuals” may include mentors, community members, friends, siblings, and other family members.
 
2022 Edition

Shelter Services (CA-SH) 10: Case Closing and Aftercare

The organization works with persons served and family members, when appropriate, to plan for case closing and, when possible, to develop aftercare plans that include supports and services needed to adjust to living in the community and maintain stable housing.

Interpretation

Service planning and aftercare planning are often the same process and service and aftercare plans are often integrated.
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. Persons or families served
  • Review case records

 

CA-SH 10.01

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, persons served, and others, as appropriate to the needs and wishes of the service recipient.

 

CA-SH 10.02

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

 

CA-SH 10.03

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

Interpretation

The organization must determine on a case-by-case basis its responsibility to continue providing services to persons whose third-party benefits are denied or have ended and who are in critical situations.

 

CA-SH 10.04

When appropriate, the organization works with persons served and their family to:
  1. develop an aftercare plan, sufficiently in advance of case closing, that identifies short- and long-term needs and goals and facilitates the initiation or continuation of needed supports and services; 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-SH 10.05

The organization explores a range of aftercare alternatives with runaway and homeless children and youth based on their needs, including:
  1. return to family when possible and in the best interest of the individual served;
  2. reconnection with family and continuously strengthened family relationships;
  3. referral to community-based residential facilities or foster care; and
  4. residing with friends, relatives, or independently in the community.

Interpretation

When children and youth are returned to family, family members should receive information and support to help them understand the needs of the child or youth and promote successful reintegration with the family and community. It is especially important to provide culturally relevant education and guidance for diverse families with children who identify as LGBTQ.

Interpretation

Educating parents on sex trafficking is an important component to prevention, identification, and treatment. Information provided should address how parents can raise their children in an environment free of abuse, neglect, and exploitation, through information on topics such as internet safety, how to respond when a child runs away, and developing healthy relationships. Additionally, information for parents of trafficking victims should emphasize the issue of stigma associated with prostitution to help the family provide a healthy, nonjudgmental home environment, supportive of a successful reintegration.
NA The organization has a contract with a public authority that prohibits or does not include aftercare planning.

NA The organization does not provide shelter for runaway and homeless children and youth, children and youth in foster care, or unaccompanied children without legal status.
Examples: Aftercare plans may take into account differences in the needs of youth, for example:
  1. youth who have left home;
  2. youth for whom returning home is not an appropriate or safe plan;
  3. youth meeting legal requirements for emancipation;
  4. youth who are without family or community supports; and
  5. youth who are rejected by their families, including youth who identify as LGBTQ.

 

CA-SH 10.06

The organization follows up on the aftercare plan, as appropriate, when possible, and with the permission of persons served.
NA The organization has a contract with a public authority that prohibits or does not include aftercare planning or follow-up.
Examples: Reasons why follow-up may not be appropriate include, but are not limited to, cases where the person’s participation is involuntary, or where there may be a risk to the individual, such as in cases of domestic violence.
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