Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Counseling, Support, and Education Services (PA-CSE) 2: Personnel

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

Interpretation

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

Currently viewing: COUNSELING, SUPPORT, AND EDUCATION SERVICES (PA-CSE)

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Purpose

Individuals and families who participate in Counseling, Support, and Education Services identify and build on strengths, develop skills to manage situational change, access appropriate community support and resources, and improve functioning in daily activities at home, at work, and in the community.
1
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. 
2
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.
3

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.
4
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
  • Sample job descriptions from across relevant job categories
  • Training curricula
  • Documentation tracking staff completion of required trainings and/or competencies
  • Documentation tracking training and/or certification for peer support providers, as applicable
  • Caseload size requirements set by policy, regulation, or contract, when applicable
  • Documentation of current caseload size per worker
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director 
    2. Relevant personnel
  • Review personnel files

PA-CSE 2.01

Personnel providing counseling and support services must have:
  1. an associate’s degree in a human services field appropriate to the services being provided; or
  2. appropriate training and experience.
NA The agency does not provide counseling and support services.

PA-CSE 2.02

Supervisors of counseling and support services personnel are qualified by:
  1. at least two years of experience providing counseling and support services;
  2. a bachelor’s degree in a human services field; and
  3. training in staff supervision.

Interpretation

Appropriate experience and specialized training can compensate for a lack of a bachelor’s degree depending on the program design. For example, in peer support programs, number of years' experience providing peer support services, in addition to formal trainings and/or certifications, is more critical than level of academic degree.
NA The agency does not provide counseling and support services.

PA-CSE 2.03

Personnel are trained on, or demonstrate competency in: 
  1. procedures for making appropriate referrals or providing information;
  2. recognizing and responding to signs and symptoms of trauma; and
  3. recognizing and responding to signs of suicide risk.

PA-CSE 2.04

Personnel leading education and support groups are trained on, or demonstrate competency in:
  1. engaging and motivating group members;
  2. understanding and managing group dynamics in order to maintain comfort and safety for participants;
  3. leading discussions; and
  4. facilitating group activities.
NA The agency does not provide education or support groups.

PA-CSE 2.05

Personnel providing counseling and support services are trained on, or demonstrate competency in:
  1. child development, and individual and family functioning;
  2. evidence-based practices and relevant emerging bodies of knowledge as appropriate to the program design and service population; 
  3. ecological or person-in-environment perspectives; and
  4. working with difficult to reach, traumatized, or disengaged individuals and families.
NA The agency does not provide counseling and support services.

PA-CSE 2.06

Individuals who provide peer support:
  1. obtain certification, as defined by their state;
  2. are willing to share their personal recovery stories;
  3. have a job description and clearly understand the role of a peer support worker; and
  4. have adequate support and appropriate supervision.
NA The agency does not provide peer support services.

PA-CSE 2.07

Individuals who provide peer support receive pre- and in-service training on:
  1. how to recognize the need for more intensive services;
  2. established ethical guidelines, including setting appropriate boundaries;
  3. wellness support methods, trauma-informed care practices, and recovery resources; and
  4. skills, concepts, and philosophies related to recovery and peer support.
NA The agency does not provide peer support services.

PA-CSE 2.08

Employee workloads support the achievement of client outcomes and are regularly reviewed.
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 level of supervision needed;
  2. the work and time required to accomplish assigned tasks and job responsibilities; and
  3. service volume, accounting for assessed level of needs of persons served.