Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Home Care and Support Services (PA-HCS) 3: Requirements for Personnel Providing Services to Individuals with Special Needs

Program personnel have the competency and support needed to meet the needs of older adults and other special needs populations.
NA The agency does not serve individuals with special needs.
2020 Edition




Individuals who receive Home Care and Support Services obtain a maximum level of independence, functioning, and health, and extend the time it is possible to live safely at home and in the community.
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
  • Sample job descriptions from across relevant job categories
  • Training curricula
  • Documentation tracking staff completion of required trainings and/or competencies
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
  • Review personnel files

PA-HCS 3.01

Personnel who provide assessment, care management, and supervision of care for individuals with serious mental health conditions and complicated medical conditions:
  1. are qualified by an advanced degree in an appropriate human service field and a minimum of two years supervisory experience in direct services, or case management; or
  2. have a bachelor's degree and an equivalent number of years supervisory experience and demonstrated skills providing level of care decisions for in-home service delivery.
NA The agency does not provide services to individuals with serious mental health conditions and complicated medical conditions.

PA-HCS 3.02

Personnel who work with individuals with special needs are trained on, or demonstrate competency in:
  1. attending to the physical, mental, social, economic, and emotional needs of the service population;
  2. recognizing problems and responding to impending emergencies or crises; and
  3. providing preventive and supportive services to ensure maximum participation and self-determination.
Examples: Individuals with special needs can include individuals with HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, developmental disabilities, youth and families, etc. As such, the special needs of populations will vary, and training can be tailored to address the specific needs of the identified population.