2022 Edition

Youth Custody Services (CA-YCS) 9: Services for Substance Use Conditions

Youth with substance use conditions receive treatment that meets their needs.
NA The organization provides only remand services.

NA Services are provided via contract, when needed.


Viewing: CA-YCS 9 - Services for Substance Use Conditions



Youth Custody Services promote public safety by providing youth with a supportive, structured setting that helps them address their needs and develop the attitudes and skills needed to make responsible choices, avoid negative behaviours, and become productive, connected, and law-abiding citizens.
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 governing the provision of services for substance use conditions
No On-Site Evidence
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Youth served and their families
  • Verify employment of qualified health professional either directly or via contract
  • Review case records

Fundamental Practice

CA-YCS 9.01

When a youth’s assessment indicates the presence of a substance use condition, the organization determines and arranges for an appropriate level and intensity of care and treatment.
Note: As referenced in CA-YCS 8.08, youth diagnosed as having co-occurring mental health and substance use conditions should receive integrated treatment either directly or through active involvement with a cooperating service provider.


CA-YCS 9.02

Interventions are based on evidence or clinical practice guidelines, where they exist, and are appropriate for youth.


CA-YCS 9.03

Youth are helped to:
  1. identify situations that prompt substance use; and
  2. develop healthier ways of responding to those situations.

Fundamental Practice

CA-YCS 9.04

Medical needs are addressed directly or through an established referral arrangement.
Examples: Needed medical services may include: medical detoxification, medication monitoring and management, physical examinations or other physical health services, laboratory testing and toxicology services, and other diagnostic procedures.

Fundamental Practice

CA-YCS 9.05

Mental health or community-based professionals with experience, training, and competence in engaging, diagnosing, and treating alcohol and other drug problems, are responsible for the medical aspects of substance use or dependency treatment, including:
  1. making decisions about the appropriate level and intensity of care and treatment;
  2. prescribing and/or supervising medication, including appropriate monitoring and administration of pharmacotherapy for youth with co-occurring conditions; and
  3. providing or reviewing diagnostic, toxicological, and other health related examinations.


CA-YCS 9.06

Youth are engaged in treatment for a sufficient length of time to attain recovery and promote positive behavioural change.