Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Juvenile Justice Case Management Services (PA-JJCM) 4: Service Planning

Each youth participates in the development of a service plan that is the basis for delivery of appropriate services, support, and supervision.


When services are provided as aftercare that follows another more intensive program, these plans may sometimes be referred to as “reentry plans” or “aftercare plans” rather than “service plans.” 
2020 Edition




Juvenile Justice Case Management Services coordinate the services and supervision that can help youth address problems and develop the attitudes and skills needed to make responsible choices, avoid negative behaviors, and become productive, connected, and law-abiding members of their communities.
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
  • Service planning procedures
No On-Site Evidence
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Youth served and their families
  • Review case records

PA-JJCM 4.01

An assessment-based service plan is developed in a timely manner with the full participation of youth and includes:
  1. goals, desired outcomes, and timeframes for achieving them; 
  2. services and supports to be provided, and by whom; 
  3. the level of supervision needed, including the frequency and type of contacts required; 
  4. procedures for expedited service planning when crisis or urgent need is identified; and
  5. the signature of the youth and a parent or legal guardian.


To promote service continuity and facilitate a successful transition, organizations providing aftercare services should strive to develop plans before youth are released from their previous placements.

PA-JJCM 4.02

During service planning the agency explains:
  1. how youth and their progress will be monitored;
  2. any special terms or conditions, including conditions ordered by the court;
  3. benefits to be gained if the plan is fulfilled; and
  4. possible consequences of noncompliance.
Examples: Special terms or conditions can include, but are not limited to, mandated curfews, school attendance, and drug testing.

PA-JJCM 4.03

Working in active partnership with youth, the agency collaborates with relevant organizations, agencies, and parties, as appropriate to the needs of individual youth and the nature of the services provided, to:
  1. arrange for the delivery and coordination of all needed services and supports; 
  2. advocate on behalf of youth; 
  3. mediate barriers to services within the service delivery system; and
  4. identify and develop opportunities for youth to become involved with or contribute to the community, when possible and appropriate.
Examples: Relevant organizations, agencies, and parties include those engaged with youth both during and prior to their involvement with the agency providing JJCM, including: court and legal personnel; law enforcement; and other organizations and agencies providing services to youth.  This includes staff at residential facilities when an agency provides case management to youth in residential placement, and both staff at youths’ previous placements and community organizations and agencies, when an agency provides aftercare. Organizations and agencies that may serve or encounter youth in the community include, but are not limited to: child welfare agencies; schools; health care providers; mental health care providers; substance use treatment providers; parks and recreation services; libraries; cultural institutions; businesses; and faith-based institutions.
Note: Collaboration within the context of ongoing service monitoring is addressed further in PA-JJCM 6.

PA-JJCM 4.04

Personnel strive to engage families in service planning to the extent possible and appropriate, and encourage their involvement by:
  1. including family members in scheduling decisions;
  2. allowing participation through teleconferencing;
  3. assisting with transportation and childcare, as needed and to the extent possible; and
  4. developing and maintaining positive relationships with family members.
Examples: Personnel can develop positive relationships with family members and encourage their involvement by demonstrating: 
  1. sensitivity to the willingness of the family to be engaged; 
  2. respect for family members’ autonomy and confidentiality;
  3. flexibility;
  4. persistence; and
  5. a non-threatening manner.