Standards for Canadian organizations

2020 Edition

Group Living Services (CA-GLS) 5: Family Involvement

The organization works with the resident and his or her family to develop and maintain an optimal level of family involvement in all program activities.
NA The organization serves only populations for whom family involvement is not indicated.
2020 Edition

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Purpose

Group Living Services allow individuals who need additional support to regain, maintain, and improve life skills and functioning in a safe, stable, community-based living arrangement.
1
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.
2
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.
3
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. 
4
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
  • Procedures for facilitating family involvement
No On-Site Evidence
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Residents and their families
  • Review case records

CA-GLS 5.01

The organization helps every resident to:
  1. express the nature of family involvement desired;
  2. prevent, manage, and reduce family conflicts and develop problem-solving skills;
  3. identify family strengths that help members meet challenges;
  4. understand separation from family or significant others and grieve the loss of family;
  5. maintain relationships with family members through time spent at home and shared activities, as often as possible;
  6. participate in neighborhood activities; and
  7. prepare for returning home or for living with another family, if appropriate.

Interpretation

The organization should work with residents to identify individuals with whom they wish to maintain a relationship, especially when trafficking is suspected. Traffickers may pose as a significant other, older relative, or communicate through another individual and utilize visitation to continue the exploitation of the victim. In cases where the child is a victim of human trafficking, it is important to be aware that the child’s parent or caregiver may be the trafficker or complicit in the trafficking. In such cases, determining appropriate family supports and level of involvement should include the input of the child, as well as child protection and law enforcement systems.

Interpretation

Unless contraindicated by court-order or there are compelling reasons to limit contact, residents should have the opportunity to spend time with their family at home and receive visits from family and friends. For adults, and some young adults, every attempt should be made to include family members identified by the resident. In cases where adults do not want family involvement, they should receive help to identify friendship opportunities based on common interests, and for young adults efforts should be made to help them connect with a non-custodial parent and/or other extended family members.

CA-GLS 5.02

The organization supports family involvement and engagement by:
  1. providing assistance or support, as needed;
  2. encouraging the family’s active participation in decision-making;
  3. providing an environment conducive to family visits and activities; and
  4. reestablishing parental and family care, or termination of parental rights, when in the best interest of or desired by the resident.
Examples: Examples of ways to engage families and encourage their participation can include asking family members directly about their needs and having family advocates available to offer assistance.

CA-GLS 5.03

Residents are located close to their families and home communities to retain natural connections and allow for continued participation in community programs and when services are not available close to a resident’s home or community, the organization attempts to maintain family ties and involve the family by:
  1. assisting the family with travel arrangements;
  2. coordinating or facilitating family services to be delivered in the community; and/or
  3. employing methods for telecommunication through web-based or electronic systems.
Examples: The organization can support family involvement and provide alternative services through cooperating local organizations.

CA-GLS 5.04

Family members receive information and support to help them understand the needs of the resident and promote successful reintegration with their family and community.

Interpretation

Educating parents on sex trafficking is an important component to prevention, identification, and treatment. Information provided should address how parents can raise their children in an environment free of abuse, neglect, and exploitation, through information on topics such as internet safety, how to respond when a child runs away, and developing healthy relationships. Additionally, information for parents of trafficking victims should emphasize the issue of stigma associated with prostitution to help the family provide a healthy, nonjudgmental home environment, supportive of a successful reintegration.
Examples: Organizations can educate family members on important information related to the resident’s treatment that will aid in their transition from care and offer supports to families, such as individual mentoring and family and/or parent coaching.