Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Home Care and Support Services (PA-HCS) 4: Access to Services

The agency works with other providers to build community awareness of potential recipients of home care and support so services can be accessed, as needed.
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
  • Tool(s) for conducting preliminary needs evaluations with prospective service recipients and their caregivers
  • Sample information for caregivers distributed in the community
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Persons served


PA-HCS 4.01

The agency increases the availability of information for caregivers by distributing information about available services and supports at locations throughout the community.
Examples: Information about how to obtain services or a referral may be provided at local health facilities, recreation centers, community bulletin boards, town halls, and community-based social service agencies.


PA-HCS 4.02

Staff who serve as a gateway to services evaluate:
  1. the extent and kind of services an individual needs and wants; and
  2. the strengths and capabilities of caregivers, including unidentified quality of life concerns related to care giving demands.


PA-HCS 4.03

Individuals receive timely information about institutional care when caregivers can no longer manage an unsafe, unhealthy, or stressful home situation.