Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Housing Stabilization and Community Living Services (PA-HSCL) 6: Services for Pregnant and Parenting Families

The agency provides services, either directly or by referral, which support child development and family functioning in a child-friendly and safe environment.
NA The agency does not serve pregnant service recipients or families with children.
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.
Examples: Allowing families to follow their schedules, routines, and rituals to the greatest extent possible can support family functioning, encourage stability, and minimize stress.
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
  • Procedures for evaluating educational needs and coordinating educational services
  • Procedures for referring individuals to services
  • Table of contents of educational curricula for expectant and parenting service recipients
  • Informational materials provided to service recipients
  • Educational curricula for expectant and parenting service recipients
  • Community resource and referral list
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Persons served
  • Review case records
  • Observe facilities and settings


PA-HSCL 6.01

Agencies that serve families house families as a unit and keep sibling or family groups together, when possible.
NA The program does not serve family units, or housing families as a unit is not possible or prohibited by law.


PA-HSCL 6.02

The agency evaluates the educational status and needs of children and youth, and: 
  1. informs youth and parents of their educational rights;
  2. connects children ages 0-5 with early childhood learning programs;
  3. coordinates educational services with relevant school districts;
  4. assists high school students with Free Application for Federal Student Aid and college applications; and
  5. helps children and youth stay current with the curricula by providing time and space for quiet reading and studying, and assistance with school assignments.
NA The agency does not serve families with children.


PA-HSCL 6.03

The agency meets the developmental needs of children and youth by: 
  1. facilitating connections to early intervention and trauma-specific services, as necessary;
  2. informing parents of age-appropriate developmental milestones; and
  3. sharing age- and developmentally-appropriate parenting skills and techniques with parents.
NA The agency does not serve families with children.


PA-HSCL 6.04

When serving families with children the agency provides or arranges for recreational and educational activities that:
  1. are appropriate to children’s ages, developmental levels, and cultures, and offer access to appropriate toys and equipment;
  2. encourage play and physical activity; and
  3. are provided in safe, childproofed indoor and outdoor environments.


All toys and equipment must be installed and used according to the manufacturer’s instructions and meet all applicable safety standards.


Activities should be sensitive to the needs of youth who identify as LGBTQ, indigenous groups, and youth with special needs.
NA The agency does not serve families with children.

NA The agency only provides homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing services.
Examples: Examples of toys and equipment include: sensory materials; books in the languages spoken by service recipients; art materials; sorting/stacking toys; and gross-motor equipment.

Fundamental Practice

PA-HSCL 6.05

Pregnant service recipients are provided or linked with specialized services that include, as appropriate: 
  1. pregnancy counseling;
  2. prenatal health care;
  3. genetic risk identification and counseling services;
  4. fetal alcohol syndrome screening;
  5. labor and delivery services;
  6. postpartum care;
  7. mental health care, including information, screening, and treatment for prenatal and postpartum depression;
  8. pediatric health care, including well-baby visits and immunizations;
  9. peer counseling services; and
  10. children’s health insurance programs.


Young service recipients may need more intensive services that are developmentally appropriate for adolescence and early adulthood.
NA The agency does not serve pregnant service recipients.


PA-HSCL 6.06

Pregnant and parenting service recipients are helped to develop skills and knowledge related to: 
  1. basic caregiving routines;
  2. child growth and development;
  3. meeting children’s social, emotional, and physical health needs;
  4. environmental safety and injury prevention;
  5. parent-child interactions and bonding;
  6. age-appropriate behavioral expectations and appropriate discipline; 
  7. family planning; and 
  8. establishing a functioning support network of family members or caring adults.


When an agency does not provide linkages to family planning services because doing so is counter to its mission or beliefs, the agency should disclose this fact to service recipients and provide individuals with a list of other community providers that offer pregnancy support and education services.
Examples: Agencies can tailor how topics are addressed based on service recipients’ needs. For example, when serving expectant parents or parents of young children, education on environmental safety and injury prevention will typically address topics such as safe practices for sleeping and bathing.