Standards for Canadian organizations

2020 Edition

Youth Independent Living Services (CA-YIL) 6: Supportive Housing for Youth in Transition

The organization provides safe and accessible housing in community settings where youth can continue to receive needed supports and work towards independence.
NA The organization does not provide supportive housing to youth in transition.
2020 Edition

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Purpose

Young adults who receive Youth Independent Living Services obtain safe and stable housing, develop life skills and competencies including work readiness, achieve educational and financial growth goals, and establish healthy, supportive adult and peer relationships.
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
  • Acceptance procedures
  • House rules, including regarding overnight guests
  • Supervision and security procedures
  • Procedures for entering a youth’s room or apartment
  • Eviction/discharge policy
  • Eviction/discharge procedures
  • Leasing and/or placement agreements, as applicable
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Youth
  • Observe facilities and settings

CA-YIL 6.01

The environment promotes a non-threatening, welcoming, and inclusive approach and fosters trust and engagement for all youth.

Interpretation

Programs should provide an affirming, safe and welcoming environment for all individuals. Youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ) are greatly overrepresented among youth experiencing homelessness. Programs can help to signal that they provide an environment that is safe and welcoming, for example, by posting “visual cues” in the reception or common area such as a nondiscrimination policy or LGBTQ symbols (i.e., posters, stickers, and flags).

Fundamental Practice

CA-YIL 6.02

Acceptance procedures include: 
  1. fair and objective selection criteria;
  2. written notification regarding reasons for non-acceptance; and
  3. connecting youth deemed ineligible to alternative housing options.

Interpretation

Youth in transition oftentimes do not meet conventional housing criteria due to lack of sufficient income or rental histories. Organizations that provide housing to youth in transition should modify acceptance criteria – within legal, regulatory, and/or contractual boundaries – to accommodate this service population. 

CA-YIL 6.03

Housing is provided in settings that are readily accessible to public transportation, shopping, and community-based services and resources.

CA-YIL 6.04

House rules are developed with youths’ participation, and youth are encouraged to organize, self-govern, and enforce the rules.

CA-YIL 6.05

Youth are permitted to have guests, including overnight guests, as appropriate to the population and type of living situation, and are informed of their responsibility for the behaviour of their guests.

CA-YIL 6.06

The program ensures appropriate supervision and security for its youth resident population, as applicable.

Fundamental Practice

CA-YIL 6.07

Youth are notified in writing about circumstances that permit maintenance personnel to enter a room or apartment without the occupant’s permission, and receive at least 24-hours’ notice when access is required in non-emergency situations.

Fundamental Practice

CA-YIL 6.08

Written policies and procedures regarding eviction and discharge: 
  1. are provided and explained to youth at intake;
  2. are clear and simple, avoiding overly rigid and bureaucratic language and rules;
  3. define specific behaviours, conditions, or circumstances that may result in eviction and discharge;
  4. include timely due process provisions; and
  5. describe the conditions or process for re-admittance.

Interpretation

Programs should be tolerant of youth behaviours and might expect some degree of non-compliance from youth in transition. Early discharge as a disciplinary strategy can have severely negative implications for service delivery goals, and outcomes and records of eviction impact creditworthiness and can hinder youth from obtaining secure housing arrangements in the future.