Private Organization Accreditation

Debt Education and Certification Foundation (DECAF), a private non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, provides high-quality financial education and counseling, with nationwide outreach throughout the U.S. DECAF is HUD-approved, and recognized as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work for in Texas.


Orange County Government, Youth & Family Services Division

Rodney J. Hrobar Sr., LMHC, CPP, Quality Assurance Manager

As the lead agency in Orange County, providing the safety net for children and families, it is reassuring that our clients can be confident that their needs will be addressed in accordance with the most stringent standards of public, as well as private, accountability as monitored and reviewed by the Council on Accreditation. 
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Individuals and families that use Housing Stabilization and Community Living Services obtain and maintain stable housing in the community and strengthen personal support systems in order to live as independently as possible.


Housing Stabilization and Community Living Services provide temporary or permanent services such as assistance securing safe and stable housing in the community, service-enhanced housing and supportive services to encourage maximum independence for persons who do not need 24-hour care.

Housing services can be delivered according to a scattered-site housing model, which provides services to individuals and families in individual apartments in multiple locations, or a single-site model, where housing units/apartments are located within the same building or a group of buildings. COA’s Housing Stabilization and Community Living Services standards includes the following program models:

Rapid Re-housing programs help individuals and families exit homelessness and immediately return to permanent housing through move-in and rental assistance. Core program components include: housing identification services, time-limited financial assistance, and case management and supportive services based on individual and family needs. 

Permanent Supportive Housing programs provide long-term affordable housing with ongoing services for individuals and families with high levels of need, including individuals and families experiencing chronic homelessness and those who have a substance use disorder, serious mental illness, developmental disability, and/or chronic physical illness or disability.

Single-room Occupancy (SRO) programs provide single-room dwelling units for one individual, and may contain either private or shared food preparation and/or sanitary facilities. SROs serve individuals at risk of or experiencing homelessness, and provide connections to supportive services.

Research Note: Housing First is an evidence-based approach to ending homelessness among individuals with substance use and/or mental health issues. Housing First is focused on quickly moving individuals and families experiencing homelessness into permanent, safe, and affordable housing without preconditions, and then helping them connect with the support services they need and want in order to maintain housing stability. This approach recognizes that everyone is housing ready and that immediate access to permanent housing is the primary goal.

Permanent supportive housing, combined with a Housing First approach, has been found effective at ending homelessness among single individuals experiencing chronic homelessness. Safe and stable housing is the primary goal of this program model. Research findings on outcomes across other domains, such as reductions in service use and cost, mental health status, and substance use, show mixed results.  

Rapid re-housing – a housing strategy for helping individuals and families exit homelessness and return to permanent housing as quickly possible – is a model that typically uses uses a Housing First approach. 

While this program model is relatively new, research examining outcomes for families generally shows that the rapid re-housing model is effective at quickly moving households out of homelessness shelters into permanent housing locations.  

Research Note: The large-scale Family Options Study, which tracked families for three years after randomly assigning four different interventions, found that rapid re-housing clients experienced high rates of residential instability after program exit, including homelessness. The timing of the study coincided with the early phase of implementation of the rapid re-housing program model.  

Research Note: An evaluation of the Supported Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program, which has provided prevention and rapid re-housing services to veterans since 2012,  showed that approximately 15% of veteran families experienced an episode of homelessness during the two-year follow-up period, although only contacts with veteran-specific homelessness services were included. 

Research Note: Organizations providing homelessness services should be familiar with the issue of human trafficking. Human trafficking is understood as:

The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for
  • sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; or
  • labour or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.
Coercion includes threats of physical or psychological harm to children and/or their families. Any child (under the age of 18) engaged in commercial sex (including prostitution, pornography, stripping) is a victim of trafficking. 

Research Note: The United Nations’ Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, ratified by Canada in 2002, and Sections 279.01, 279.011, and 279.04 of the Criminal Code of Canada outline the definition and criminal punishment for trafficking, domestic human trafficking of a person under eighteen, and exploitation. 

Research Note: A study issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that many shelter programs serving homeless youth failed to properly recognize prostitution or “survival sex” among minors as sex trafficking, and therefore failed to identify these youth as victims of human trafficking.

Research Note: Victims of human trafficking are in need of a comprehensive array of services, including shelter services. Increasingly, first responders, including law enforcement and social service providers, are being trained to seek support services for human trafficking victims rather than prosecuting them for criminal activities they may have engaged in while being trafficked, such as prostitution, theft, undocumented status, and wage/hour violations. Recognizing that these individuals are victims rather than criminals is a paradigm shift still under way in our society. This paradigm shift is critical as trafficking victims are eligible for services and protections under relevant laws that may not be provided to them otherwise.  

Note: An organization that provides Mental Health Services, Employment or Vocational Services, or Child Care Services, as part of its Housing Stabilization and Community Living Services will complete the appropriate service section in addition to the Housing Stabilization and Community Living Services standards.

Note: Please see CA-HSCL Reference List and the Human Trafficking Reference List - Canadian for a list of resources that informed the development of these standards.

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: The Housing Stabilization and Community Living Services (PA-HSCL) standards (previously named Supported Community Living) were revised in July 2017 to reflect current best practice. For more information, please see the HSCL Standards Updates Summary - Private, Public, Canadian

Housing Stabilization and Community Living Services Narrative

Self-Study Evidence
    • Provide an overview of the different programs being accredited under this section. The overview should describe:
      1. the program' approach to delivering services;
      2. eligibility criteria;
      3. any unique or special services provided to specific populations; and
      4. major funding streams.
    • If elements of the service (e.g., assessments) are provided by contract with outside programs or through participation in a formal, coordinated service delivery system, provide a list that identifies the providers and the service components for which they are responsible. Do not include services provided by referral.
    • Provide any other information you would like the peer review team to know about these programs.
    • A demographic profile of persons and families served by the programs being reviewed under this service section with percentages representing the following:
      1. racial and ethnic characteristics;
      2. gender/gender identity;
      3. age;
      4. major religious groups; and
      5. major language groups
    • As applicable, a list of groups or classes including, for each group or class:
      1. the type of activity/group;
      2. whether the activity/group is short-term or ongoing;
      3. how often the activity/group is offered;
      4. the average number of participants per session of the activity/group, in the last month; and
      5. the total number of participants in the activity/group, in the last month
    • A list of any programs that were opened, merged with other programs or services, or closed
    • A list or description of program outcomes and outputs being measured
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