Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Domestic Violence Services (PA-DV) 8: Crisis Hotline

Domestic violence hotlines provide immediate support, intervention, information, and referrals to individuals in emergency or crisis situations.
NA The agency does not provide crisis hotline services.
2020 Edition




Individuals who receive Domestic Violence Services gain a sense of empowerment, improve their well-being, and increase their ability to live safely and independently.
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
  • Crisis response procedures
  • A schedule, or other documentation, indicating that the hotline operates 24 hours a day
  • Community resource and referral list
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Survivors
  • Observe hotline operations including back up answering and dispatch system

Fundamental Practice

PA-DV 8.01

The hotline operates with:
  1. trained crisis workers 24 hours a day, seven days a week;
  2. a live back-up answering service, or equivalent mechanism, when all incoming lines are busy; and
  3. the capacity to dispatch rescue and other services without disconnecting calls.


PA-DV 8.02

Crisis intervention personnel respond immediately and:
  1. assess each individual’s specific situation;
  2. refer or connect individuals with appropriate resources; and
  3. provide intervention and stabilization, as necessary and appropriate.


PA-DV 8.03

The agency maintains, or has access to, a comprehensive and up-to-date list of community resources that includes:
  1. name, location, and telephone number;
  2. contact person;
  3. services offered;
  4. languages in which services are offered;
  5. fee structure; and
  6. eligibility requirements.


PA-DV 8.04

To ensure that emergency services are accessed quickly and efficiently, the agency:
  1. consults with police and fire departments, hospital emergency rooms, mental and physical health crisis teams, and the telephone company; and
  2. establishes written procedures for working with emergency responders.