Program personnel have the competency and support needed to provide services and meet the needs of residents and their families.
Competency can be demonstrated through education, training, or experience. Support can be provided through supervision or other learning activities to improve understanding or skill development in specific areas.
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.,
With some exceptions, staff (direct service providers, supervisors, and program managers) possess the required qualifications, including education, experience, training, skills, temperament, etc., but the integrity of the service is not compromised; or
Supervisors provide additional support and oversight, as needed, to the few staff without the listed qualifications; or
Most staff who do not meet educational requirements are seeking to obtain them; or
With few exceptions, staff have received required training, including applicable specialized training; or
Training curricula are not fully developed or lack depth; or
Training documentation is consistently maintained and kept up-to-date with some exceptions; or
A substantial number of supervisors meet the requirements of the standard, and the organization provides training and/or consultation to improve competencies when needed; or
With few exceptions, caseload sizes are consistently maintained as required by the standards or as required by internal policy when caseload has not been set by a standard; or
Workloads are such that staff can effectively accomplish their assigned tasks and provide quality services and are adjusted as necessary; or
Specialized services are obtained as required by the standards.
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
A significant number of staff (direct service providers, supervisors, and program managers) do not possess the required qualifications, including education, experience, training, skills, temperament, etc.; and as a result, the integrity of the service may be compromised; or
Job descriptions typically do not reflect the requirements of the standards, and/or hiring practices do not document efforts to hire staff with required qualifications when vacancies occur; or
Supervisors do not typically provide additional support and oversight to staff without the listed qualifications; or
A significant number of staff have not received required training, including applicable specialized training; or
Training documentation is poorly maintained; or
A significant number of supervisors do not meet the requirements of the standard, and the organization makes little effort to provide training and/or consultation to improve competencies; or
There are numerous instances where caseload sizes exceed the standards' requirements or the requirements of internal policy when a caseload size is not set by the standard; or
Workloads are excessive, and the integrity of the service may be compromised; or
Specialized staff are typically not retained as required and/or many do not possess the required qualifications; or
Specialized services are infrequently obtained as required by the standards.
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards.
Table of contents of training curricula
Procedures or other documentation relevant to continuity of care and case assignment
Sample job descriptions from across relevant job categories
Documentation tracking staff completion of required trainings and/or competencies
Caseload size requirements set by policy, regulation, or contract, when applicable
Documentation of current caseload size per worker
Interviews may include:
Review personnel files
Residential counsellors, house parents, adult care, and/or youth care workers have:
a diploma or degree or are actively, continuously pursuing a diploma or degree;
the personal characteristics and experience to collaborate with and provide appropriate care to residents and their families, gain their respect, guide their development, manage a home effectively, and participate in the overall treatment program; and
the temperament to work with, and care for, children, youth, adults, or families with special needs, as appropriate.
The elements of the standard will be considered together to assess implementation. Recruitment of staff with demonstrated competence and with appropriate supervision and specialized training – sometimes available through national certification programs – can compensate for a lack of a diploma or degree.
Examples: Experience per element (b) can include lived experience as residential programs can have peer support specialists, youth advocates, mentors, and/or family advocates on staff.
Supervisors of direct service personnel are qualified by:
an advanced degree in social work or a comparable human service field and two years of relevant experience; or
a bachelor’s degree in social work or a comparable human service field and four or more years of relevant experience.
A physician or other qualified medical practitioner familiar with the needs of the resident population assumes 24-hour on-call medical oversight to ensure that residents’ health needs are identified and promptly addressed.
The physician can provide services as an employee, contractor, or through another formal arrangement. There may be more than one physician fulfilling the role.
COA recognizes that geographic placement and resources can pose barriers. The use of an emergency room or urgent care facility is acceptable for overnight hours when protocols are established. Organizations can also leverage alternative service delivery methods such as telehealth when regional shortages of certain professional groups make in-person consultation impractical.
NAAll service recipients have private physicians.
Qualified professionals and specialists are available to provide services and support depending on the program model, population served, and specialized care needs.