Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Client Rights Introduction


The rights and dignity of clients are respected throughout the agency.


COA’s Client Rights (PA-CR) standards are founded on the principle that practices should reflect a profound respect for personal dignity, confidentiality, and privacy. In addition to addressing legally protected client rights, the standards in this section also center on the professional ethics of service delivery. This section promotes privacy, transparency, and mutual respect.


COA recognizes that mandated clients and individuals receiving Adult Guardianship (PA-AG) services may have a reduced level of rights. In addition, information provided to individuals who have been deemed incapacitated by the court, court order, and state law may vary based on an individual’s assessed capacity to understand such information. Individuals should retain as much personal responsibility and self-determination as possible given their assessed capacity and individual rights may not be abridged unless superseded by legal mandate or court order.

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Note: Please see PA-CR Reference List for the research that informed the development of these standards.

Note: For information about changes made in the 2020 edition, please see the CR Crosswalk