Standards for Canadian organizations

2020 Edition

Housing Stabilisation and Community Living Services (CA-HSCL) 6: Services for Pregnant and Parenting Families

The organization provides services, either directly or by referral, which support child development and family functioning in a child-friendly and safe environment.
NA The organization does not serve pregnant service recipients or families with children.
2020 Edition




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.
Examples: Allowing families to follow their schedules, routines, and rituals to the greatest extent possible can support family functioning, encourage stability, and minimize stress.
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
  • Procedures for evaluating educational needs and coordinating educational services
  • Procedures for referring individuals to services
  • Table of contents of educational curricula for expectant and parenting service recipients
  • Informational materials provided to service recipients
  • Educational curricula for expectant and parenting service recipients
  • Community resource and referral list
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Persons served
  • Review case records
  • Observe facilities and settings

CA-HSCL 6.01

Organizations that serve families house families as a unit and keep sibling or family groups together, when possible.
NA The program does not serve family units, or housing families as a unit is not possible or prohibited by law.

CA-HSCL 6.02

The organization evaluates the educational status and needs of children and youth, and: 
  1. informs youth and parents of their educational rights;
  2. connects children ages 0-5 with early childhood learning programs;
  3. coordinates educational services with relevant school districts;
  4. assists university bound students with federal and provincial student loan and university applications; and
  5. helps children and youth stay current with the curricula by providing time and space for quiet reading and studying, and assistance with school assignments.
NA The organization does not serve families with children.

CA-HSCL 6.03

The organization meets the developmental needs of children and youth by: 
  1. facilitating connections to early intervention and trauma-specific services, as necessary;
  2. informing parents of age-appropriate developmental milestones; and
  3. sharing age- and developmentally-appropriate parenting skills and techniques with parents.
NA The organization does not serve families with children.

CA-HSCL 6.04

When serving families with children the organization provides or arranges for recreational and educational activities that:
  1. are appropriate to children’s ages, developmental levels, and cultures, and offer access to appropriate toys and equipment;
  2. encourage play and physical activity; and
  3. are provided in safe, childproofed indoor and outdoor environments.


All toys and equipment must be installed and used according to the manufacturer’s instructions and meet all applicable safety standards.


Activities should be sensitive to the needs of youth who identify as LGBTQ, indigenous groups, and youth with special needs.
NA The organization does not serve families with children.

NA The organization only provides rapid re-housing services.
Examples: Examples of toys and equipment include: sensory materials; books in the languages spoken by service recipients; art materials; sorting/stacking toys; and gross-motor equipment.

Fundamental Practice

CA-HSCL 6.05

Pregnant service recipients are provided or linked with specialized services that include, as appropriate: 
  1. pregnancy counseling;
  2. prenatal health care;
  3. genetic risk identification and counseling services;
  4. fetal alcohol syndrome screening;
  5. labor and delivery services;
  6. postpartum care;
  7. mental health care, including information, screening, and treatment for prenatal and postpartum depression;
  8. pediatric health care, including well-baby visits and immunizations;
  9. peer counseling services; and
  10. children’s health insurance programs.


Young service recipients may need more intensive services that are developmentally appropriate for adolescence and early adulthood.
NA The organization does not serve pregnant service recipients.

CA-HSCL 6.06

Pregnant and parenting service recipients are helped to develop skills and knowledge related to: 
  1. basic caregiving routines;
  2. child growth and development;
  3. meeting children’s social, emotional, and physical health needs;
  4. environmental safety and injury prevention;
  5. parent-child interactions and bonding;
  6. age-appropriate behavioral expectations and appropriate discipline; 
  7. family planning; and 
  8. establishing a functioning support network of family members or caring adults.


When an organization does not provide linkages to family planning services because doing so is counter to its mission or beliefs, the organization should disclose this fact to service recipients and provide individuals with a list of other community providers that offer pregnancy support and education services.
Examples: Organizations can tailor how topics are addressed based on service recipients’ needs. For example, when serving expectant parents or parents of young children, education on environmental safety and injury prevention will typically address topics such as safe practices for sleeping and bathing.