Standards for Canadian organizations

2020 Edition

Shelter Services (CA-SH) 7: Service Components

The organization provides services that ensure that service recipients are safe and their immediate needs are met.
2020 Edition

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Purpose

Shelter Services meet the basic needs of individuals and families who are homeless or in transition, support family stabilization or independent living, and facilitate access to services and permanent housing.
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 referring individuals to services
  • Procedures for evaluating educational needs and coordinating educational services
  • Community resource and referral list
  • Criteria for making group assignments
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Persons served
  • Observe facility and outdoor area/grounds
  • Review case records

CA-SH 7.01

The organization’s programs provide a minimally intrusive environment that offers safety from the streets and the elements.
Examples: Allowing families to follow their schedules, routines, and rituals to the greatest extent possible can support family functioning, encourage stability, and minimize stress.
Note: Please see the Facility Observation Checklist for additional guidance on this standard.

CA-SH 7.02

The organization provides:
  1. nutritious food;
  2. clothing;
  3. personal hygiene supplies; 
  4. crisis intervention;
  5. a mailing address and/or voicemail;
  6. access to a computer and the internet;
  7. information and referral for services; and
  8. connections to behavioural health and medical services.
Examples: Providing service recipients with a private voicemail account may help them to communicate and stay connected with employers, landlords, service providers, and family members.
Note: Please see the Facility Observation Checklist for additional guidance on this standard.

CA-SH 7.03

The organization considers the unique characteristics of service recipients when grouping people together.

Interpretation

Characteristics that should be considered can include the number of individuals grouped together, age, special needs, gender, gender identity, and gender expression. All service recipients should be treated according to their self-identified gender, meaning that transgender and gender non-conforming service recipients should be given access to sleeping quarters, bathroom facilities, and services based on their stated gender, not their assigned sex at birth, in accordance with applicable legal, regulatory, and/or contractual requirements.

CA-SH 7.04

The organization maintains families as a unit and keeps sibling groups together.
NA The organization does not serve families or children and youth without their parents.

CA-SH 7.05

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.

Interpretation

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

Interpretation

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 admit families with children.
Examples: Examples of appropriate toys and equipment include: sensory materials, books in the languages spoken by service recipients, art materials, sorting/stacking toys, and gross-motor equipment.
Note: Please see the Facility Observation Checklist for additional guidance on this standard.

CA-SH 7.06

The organization evaluates the educational status and needs of children and youth, and:
  1. informs youth and their 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 college-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 admit families with children or children and youth without their parents.
Note: Please see the Facility Observation Checklist for additional guidance on this standard.

CA-SH 7.07

The organization meets the developmental needs of children and youth by: 
  1. facilitating connections to early intervention and trauma-specific services, as necessary;
  2. supporting parents to ensure that children meet age-appropriate developmental milestones; and
  3. providing access to resources and parenting classes on age- and developmentally-appropriate parenting skills and techniques.
NA The organization does not admit families with children or children and youth without their parents.