Standards for Canadian organizations

2020 Edition

Counselling, Support, and Education Services (CA-CSE) 5: Education and Support Group Services

Education and support groups provide educational, supportive, and preventive services to improve emotional well-being, and promote self-sufficiency, personal growth, development, resilience, and wellness.
NA The organization does not provide education or support groups.
2020 Edition




Individuals and families who participate in Counseling, Support, and Education Services identify and build on strengths, develop skills to manage situational change, access appropriate community support and resources, and improve functioning in daily activities at home, at work, and in the community.
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
No Self-Study Evidence
  • Education and support group schedule for the previous 12 months
  • Curricula from education and support groups
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Individuals or families served
  • Review logs, progress notes, or case records for documentation of services provided, as applicable

CA-CSE 5.01

Services have an educational, supportive, or preventive focus to help individuals and families:
  1. recover from crises;
  2. cope with life transitions;
  3. set recovery and/or life goals;
  4. identify networks of support and supportive resources;
  5. better understand the patterns of community and family living;
  6. anticipate and manage stresses of daily living; 
  7. improve role competency and family and social functioning; or
  8. enhance health and whole-person wellness.
Examples: Education and support groups might focus on relapse prevention, job skills training, family relations, suicide loss and grief, and other topics related to personal recovery goals.

CA-CSE 5.02

Services provided in a group setting:
  1. emphasize group learning and facilitate sharing in a safe, supportive environment;
  2. are designed to respond flexibly to the changing needs of group members; and
  3. are scheduled with participants’ time commitments in mind.

CA-CSE 5.03

Program activities promote the personal growth and independence of individuals and families through opportunities to:
  1. share experiences with the group;
  2. strengthen abilities to relate to those who are different from themselves;
  3. develop satisfying relationships with other group participants;
  4. assume responsibilities and develop leadership capacities; and
  5. participate in activities of interest.