Updated Standards for Homelessness Services Now Available

Best practices in addressing homelessness are now incorporated in COA’s standards for homelessness services

Private // Public // Canadian

In 2015, an estimated 1.48 million individuals experienced sheltered homelessness in the United States, including families with children, youth, veterans, and persons with one or more disability. This number does not account for those living on the street, in cars, tent encampments, parks, hotels and motels, or doubling up with family and friends due to economic hardship. It also does not include the nearly 350,000 individuals living in permanent supportive housing.

To support the organizations serving these vulnerable children, youth, families, and adults, COA collaborated with a panel of experts from the homelessness field, as well as COA accredited organizations, to review and update the Supported Living Services (SCL), Shelter Services (SH), and Outreach Services (OS) standards. 

Renaming and restructuring:

  • SCL has been renamed Housing Stabilization and Community Living Services (HSCL) to better reflect the program models assigned this section
  • Transitional Housing programs will be reviewed under Shelter Services (SH) to provide a better program model fit

The updated standards highlight these key best practices:

  • identifying and supporting the needs of children and youth (SH 3, SH 7, HSCL 3, HSCL 4, HSCL 7)
  • supporting pregnant and parenting individuals (SH 9, HSCL 7)
  • safety and inclusiveness for individuals identifying as LGBTQ (SH 3, SH 5, SH 7, SH 8, SH 11, SH 13, HSCL 3, HSCL 6, HSCL 8, HSCL 11, OS 3, OS 5, OS 7)
  • family reconnection and reconciliation for youth (SH 3, SH 12, HSCL 4)
  • trauma-informed care (SH 1, SH 3, SH 13, HSCL 1, HSCL 3, HSCL 11, OS 1, OS 3, OS 7)
  • suicide prevention (SH 3, SH 13, HSCL 3, HSCL 11, OS 3, OS 7)
  • staff training and qualifications (SH 13, HSCL 11, OS 7)

Learn more about these updates:

Private: HSCLSH and OS
Public: PA-HSCL, PA-SH and PA-OS
Canadian: CA-HSCLCA-SH and CA-OS

WHO IS ACCREDITED?

Private Organization Accreditation

Children's Home Society of Florida delivers a unique spectrum of social services designed to protect children at risk of abuse, neglect or abandonment; to strengthen and stabilize families; to help young people break the cycle of abuse and neglect; and to find safe, loving homes for children.
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ORGANIZATION TESTIMONIAL

Brewer-Porch Children's Center

James W. Thompson, Executive Director

The COA standards as applied to the operations at Brewer-Porch Children’s Center at The University of Alabama has given the administration an opportunity to examine best practice and improve the quality of care provided to clients.
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