Standards for Canadian organizations

2020 Edition

Housing Stabilisation and Community Living Services (CA-HSCL) 2: Personnel

Program personnel have the competency and support needed to provide services and meet the needs of the target population.

Interpretation

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.
2020 Edition

Currently viewing: HOUSING STABILISATION AND COMMUNITY LIVING SERVICES (CA-HSCL)

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Purpose

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.
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.,  
  • 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.
3
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.
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.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • 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
  • Training curricula
  • Caseload size requirements set by policy, regulation, or contract, when applicable
  • Documentation of current caseload size per worker

 

  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
  • Review personnel files

CA-HSCL 2.01

Personnel providing case management are qualified by:
  1. a bachelor’s degree in social work or a comparable human service field; or 
  2. at least five years of direct care experience in human services.

CA-HSCL 2.02

Supervisors are qualified by:
  1. an advanced degree in social work or comparable human service field and at least two years of direct experience in service delivery; or
  2. a bachelor’s degree in social work or comparable human service field and four years of direct experience in service delivery.
NA The organization only provides homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing services.

CA-HSCL 2.03

When clinical services are provided on-site, experienced personnel with an advanced degree in social work, psychology, counseling, psychiatry, psychiatric nursing, or other human services, provide: 
  1. case supervision or case consultation;
  2. overall guidance to the program; and
  3. training of direct service and supervisory personnel.
NA Program personnel do not provide clinical services.

CA-HSCL 2.04

All direct service personnel are trained on, or demonstrate competency in: 
  1. understanding homelessness, including the causes and effects of homelessness, overrepresented and vulnerable populations, impact of homelessness on child development, barriers to exiting homelessness, and service needs;
  2. understanding stigma and labeling;
  3. harm reduction; and
  4. recognizing and responding to signs of suicide risk.

Interpretation

Personnel that provide rapid re-housing services should be trained on or demonstrate competency in the core principles of the program model, including Housing First, rapid re-housing, crisis response, case work, and case coordination.

CA-HSCL 2.05

All direct service personnel are trained on, or demonstrate competency in, understanding the special service needs of individuals, including, as appropriate:
  1. individuals coping with substance use and/or mental health issues, including dual diagnosis;
  2. individuals coping with trauma, including how to recognize trauma and appropriate interventions for addressing the acute needs of trauma victims;
  3. individuals with HIV/AIDS;
  4. individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or gender non-conforming;
  5. individuals and families who have been victims of violence, abuse, or neglect;
  6. individuals who may be the victims of human trafficking or sexual exploitation, including how to identify potential victims;
  7. individuals and families experiencing or at risk of homelessness;
  8. pregnant and parenting mothers and/or fathers with young children;
  9. persons with current or past criminal justice system involvement;
  10. persons with current or past child protection system involvement;
  11. persons with developmental disabilities; and
  12. older adults.

CA-HSCL 2.06

Case managers are trained on, or demonstrate competency in:
  1. basic counseling skills;
  2. conducting housing searches;
  3. landlord engagement;
  4. issues related to individuals and families involved with multiple systems;
  5. conducting home visits, including identifying and responding to potential lease issues, as appropriate;
  6. helping individuals live in the community or transition to independent living; and
  7. the organization’s plans for managing medical or psychiatric emergencies.

CA-HSCL 2.07

The organization minimizes the number of workers assigned to the persons served over the course of their contact with the organization by:
  1. assigning a worker at intake or early in the contact; and
  2. avoiding the arbitrary or indiscriminate reassignment of direct service personnel.

Interpretation

One of the most important aspects of care for victims of human trafficking and other forms of trauma is to be able to develop a consistent, trusting relationship with one staff person who serves as the central coordinator for the full myriad of needed services.

CA-HSCL 2.08

Caseloads support the achievement of client outcomes, are regularly reviewed, and generally do not exceed:
  1. 15-18 cases for each direct service provider responsible for counseling services;
  2. 20-30 cases for case coordinators; or
  3. an appropriate mix of the above.
Examples: Factors that may be considered when determining employee workloads include, but are not limited to:
  1. the qualifications, competencies, and experience of the worker, including the level of supervision needed;
  2. the work and time required to accomplish assigned tasks and job responsibilities; 
  3. individuals' needs, service goals, and timelines;
  4. the service model used; and
  5. service volume.