Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Adult Foster Care (PA-AFC) 3: Intake and Assessment

The agency's intake and assessment practices ensure that individuals receive prompt and responsive access to the appropriate services.


For agencies that solely support homes with a ready-made caregiver, the agency should still have screening and intake procedures to ensure that the arrangement is appropriate for receiving the level of supports Adult Foster Care programs provide.
2020 Edition

Currently viewing: ADULT FOSTER CARE (PA-AFC)



 Adult Foster Care (PA-AFC) programs support community-based living arrangements for adults in need of long term-services and supports, matching them with in-home caregivers.
Full Implementation, Outstanding Performance
A rating of (1) indicates that the agency's practices fully meet the standard and reflect a high level of capacity.  
  • All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, with rare or no exceptions: exceptions do not impact service quality or agency performance. 
Substantial Implementation, Good Performance
A rating of (2) indicates that an agency's infrastructure and practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement.
  • The majority of the standards requirements have been met and the basic framework required by the standard has been implemented. 
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality or agency performance.

Partial Implementation, Concerning Performance
A rating of (3) indicates that the agency's observed infrastructure and/or practices require significant improvement.  

  • The agency has not implemented the basic framework of the standard but instead has in place only part of this framework.  
  • Omissions or exceptions to the practices outlined in the standard occur regularly, or practices are implemented in a cursory or haphazard manner.  
  • Service quality or agency functioning may be compromised.  
  • Capacity is at a basic level.
Unsatisfactory Implementation or Performance
A rating of (4) indicates that implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.  
  • The agency’s observed service delivery infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Screening and intake procedures
  • Assessment procedures
  • Copy of assessment tools
  • Community resource and referral list
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Persons served
  • Review case records

PA-AFC 3.01

Individuals are screened and informed about: 
  1. how well their request matches the agency's services; and
  2. what services will be available when.
NA Another provider or agency is responsible for screening, as defined in contract.

Fundamental Practice

PA-AFC 3.02

Prompt, responsive intake practices:
  1. gather information necessary to identify critical service needs and/or determine when a more intensive service is necessary;
  2. give priority to urgent needs and emergency situations;
  3. clarify needs and preferences including the choice to execute an advance directive, as appropriate;
  4. support timely initiation of services; and
  5. provide placement on a waiting list or referral to appropriate resources when individuals cannot be served or cannot be served promptly.


In regards to element (c), the appropriateness of including advance directives should be determined by the service population. Aging populations or those in end stages of an illness would be examples of relevant populations.

PA-AFC 3.03

Persons served participate in an individualized, culturally and linguistically responsive assessment that:
  1. is completed within established timeframes; 
  2. includes the individual’s view of his or her current health and functioning;
  3. includes baseline functional, mental, emotional, and physical status information, including prescription medication use and recent or progressive functioning to confirm capacity, decline, or progress; 
  4. is updated as needed based on the needs of persons served; and
  5. focuses on information pertinent for meeting service requests and objectives. 


The recommended timeframe is 30 days and should not exceed 45 days unless justification for exceeding that timeframe is provided in the case record.


The Assessment Matrix - Private, Public, Canadian, Network determines which level of assessment is required for COA’s Service Sections. The assessment elements of the Matrix can be tailored according to the needs of specific individuals or service design.
Note: When another agency is responsible for this in contract, evidence should be included as to how this information is gathered by the agency in order to appropriately place the service recipient with a caregiver.