Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Housing Stabilization and Community Living Services (PA-HSCL) 2: Personnel

Program personnel have the competency and support needed to provide services and meet the needs of the target population.


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




Individuals and families that use Housing Stabilization and Community Living Services obtain and maintain stable housing in the community and strengthen personal support systems in order to live as independently as possible.
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
  • Procedures or other documentation relevant to continuity of care and case assignment
  • Sample job descriptions from across relevant job categories
  • Documentation tracking staff completion of required trainings and/or competencies
  • Training curricula
  • 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-HSCL 2.01

Personnel providing case management are qualified by:
  1. a bachelor’s degree in social work or a comparable human service field; or 
  2. at least five years of direct care experience in human services.


PA-HSCL 2.02

Supervisors are qualified by:
  1. an advanced degree in social work or comparable human service field and at least two years of direct experience in service delivery; or
  2. a bachelor’s degree in social work or comparable human service field and four years of direct experience in service delivery.
NA The agency only provides rapid re-housing services.


PA-HSCL 2.03

When clinical services are provided on-site, experienced personnel with an advanced degree in social work, psychology, counseling, psychiatry, psychiatric nursing, or other human services, provide: 
  1. case supervision or case consultation;
  2. overall guidance to the program; and
  3. training of direct service and supervisory personnel.
NA Program personnel do not provide clinical services.


PA-HSCL 2.04

All direct service personnel are trained on, or demonstrate competency in: 
  1. understanding homelessness, including the causes and effects of homelessness, overrepresented and vulnerable populations, impact of homelessness on child development, barriers to exiting homelessness, and service needs;
  2. understanding stigma and labeling;
  3. harm reduction; and
  4. recognizing and responding to signs of suicide risk.


Personnel that provide homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing services should be trained on or demonstrate competency in the core principles of the program model, including Housing First, rapid re-housing, crisis response, case work, and case coordination.


PA-HSCL 2.05

All direct service personnel are trained on, or demonstrate competency in, understanding the special service needs of individuals, including, as appropriate:
  1. individuals coping with substance use and/or mental health issues, including dual diagnosis;
  2. individuals coping with trauma, including how to recognize trauma and appropriate interventions for addressing the acute needs of trauma victims;
  3. individuals with HIV/AIDS;
  4. individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or gender non-conforming;
  5. individuals and families who have been victims of violence, abuse, or neglect;
  6. individuals who may be the victims of human trafficking or sexual exploitation, including how to identify potential victims;
  7. individuals and families experiencing or at risk of homelessness;
  8. pregnant and parenting mothers and/or fathers with young children;
  9. persons with current or past criminal justice system involvement; and
  10. persons with current or past child welfare system involvement.


PA-HSCL 2.06

Case managers are trained on, or demonstrate competency in:
  1. basic counseling skills;
  2. conducting housing searches;
  3. landlord engagement;
  4. issues related to individuals and families involved with multiple systems;
  5. conducting home visits, including identifying and responding to potential lease issues, as appropriate;
  6. helping individuals live in the community or transition to independent living; and
  7. the agency's plans for managing medical or psychiatric emergencies.


PA-HSCL 2.07

The agency minimizes the number of workers assigned to the persons served over the course of their contact with the agency by:
  1. assigning a worker at intake or early in the contact; and
  2. avoiding the arbitrary or indiscriminate reassignment of direct service personnel.


One of the most important aspects of care for victims of human trafficking and other forms of trauma is to be able to develop a consistent, trusting relationship with one staff person who serves as the central coordinator for the full myriad of needed services.


PA-HSCL 2.08

Caseloads support the achievement of client outcomes, are regularly reviewed, and generally do not exceed:
  1. 15-18 cases for each direct service provider responsible for counseling services; or
  2. an appropriate mix of the above.
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 the level of supervision needed;
  2. the work and time required to accomplish assigned tasks and job responsibilities; 
  3. individuals' needs, service goals, and timelines;
  4. the service model used; and
  5. service volume.