Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Child and Family Development and Support Services (PA-CFD) 2: Personnel

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


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




Families participating in Child and Family Development and Support Services gain new competencies, improve child health and well-being, improve family functioning, and make family-community connections.
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
  • 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, when applicable
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
  • Review personnel files

PA-CFD 2.01

Supervisors are qualified by:
  1. an advanced degree in a health or human service field; or
  2. a bachelor’s degree in a health or human service field and two years’ experience working with children and families.
Examples: When supervisors are qualified by element (b), prior experience with supervision may also be desirable. 

PA-CFD 2.02

All direct service personnel are trained on, or demonstrate competency in:
  1. establishing professional boundaries and employing appropriate methods of support;
  2. encouraging independence;
  3. understanding child, adult, and family functioning;
  4. educating individuals and families about child development, child rearing, positive personal development, and/or health, as appropriate to the services provided;
  5. identifying and building on strengths and protective factors;
  6. assessing needs, risks, and safety;
  7. recognizing and responding to problems related to substance use, mental health, domestic violence, and child abuse and neglect; and
  8. recognizing and responding to signs of prenatal and postpartum depression.
NA The agency provides only parent education groups.

PA-CFD 2.03

All direct service personnel providing early intervention services are trained on, or demonstrate competency in:
  1. administering early intervention techniques;
  2. understanding issues of particular relevance to the families of children with developmental delays or disabilities; and
  3. helping families learn how to support and promote their children’s healthy development.
NA The agency does not provide early intervention services.

PA-CFD 2.04

All direct service personnel providing parent education services in a group setting are trained on, or demonstrate competency in:
  1. engaging and motivating group members;
  2. understanding group dynamics;
  3. leading discussions;
  4. facilitating group activities;
  5. promoting respectful interactions; and
  6. educating individuals and families about child development, child rearing, and positive personal development.
NA The agency does not provide parent education groups.

PA-CFD 2.05

The agency maintains service continuity by:
  1. assigning a worker at intake or early in the contact;
  2. avoiding the arbitrary or indiscriminate reassignment of direct service personnel; and
  3. using a team approach to ensure a comprehensive and integrated approach to service delivery, when multiple providers are involved.

PA-CFD 2.06

Employee workloads support the achievement of child and family outcomes and are regularly reviewed. 


When services are provided through a home visiting model, caseloads should generally range from 15 to 25 families, depending upon the frequency and intensity of services provided.
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. whether services are provided by multiple professionals or team members;
  3. case complexity and circumstances, including the intensity of child and family needs, the size of the family, travel time, and the goal of the case;  
  4. case status, including progress toward achievement of desired outcomes;
  5. the work and time required to accomplish assigned tasks and job responsibilities; and
  6. service volume.