WHO IS ACCREDITED?

Private Organization Accreditation

Sweetser, a Maine non-profit agency operating since 1828, provides comprehensive mental and behavioral health and substance abuse treatment services. Statewide, it serves around 15,000 consumers a year, including children, adults, and families in outpatient, office-based, and residential settings.
read more >>

VOLUNTEER TESTIMONIAL

Ulysses Arteaga, L.C.S.W.

Volunteer Roles: Commissioner; EPPA; Marine Reviewer; Military Reviewer; Peer Reviewer; Team Leader

The Consuelo Foundation 2012 Peer Reviewer of the Year, Mr. Arteaga conducts two to three site visits a year, often volunteering for visits that require a Spanish speaking peer.
read more>>

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, children and youth in foster care, or unaccompanied children without legal status and provide age- and developmentally-appropriate residential and supportive services. 

Update:

  • Revised Standard - 07/17/17
    The Shelter Services (SH) standards were revised to reflect current best practice.

Research Note: Organizations providing emergency shelter and transitional housing services should be familiar with the issue of human trafficking. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) defines “severe forms of human trafficking” 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
  • labor 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: 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 federal and some state laws that may not be provided to them otherwise.

Note: Basic Emergency Shelters will complete: All applicable standards except SH 9, SH 10, and SH 11.

Enhanced Emergency Shelters and Transitional Housing programs will complete: All applicable standards except SH 10 and SH 11.

Shelters serving runaway and homeless children and youth, children and youth, and shelters serving children and youth in foster care will complete: All applicable standards in SH 1 through SH 13. 

Note: The service recipient defines “family” based on who fulfills the role of a family member or family-like connection, including current or former foster family members, adoptive family members, legal guardians, extended family members, significant others, siblings or peers. As such, the term “family” as it is referred to throughout this section of standards will vary depending on each service recipient’s definition.

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 SH Reference List and the Human Trafficking Reference List - Private for a list of resources that informed the development of these standards.

Note: The Shelter Services (SH) standards were revised in July 2017 to reflect current best practice. For more information, please see the SH Standards Updates Summary - Private, Public, Canadian

Shelter Services Narrative

Self-Study Evidence
    • Provide an overview of the different programs being accredited under this section. The overview should describe:
      1. the program's 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
Copyright © 2017 Council on Accreditation. All Rights Reserved.  Privacy Policy and Terms of Use