Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Mental Health and/or Substance Use Services (PA-MHSU) 10: Support Services

Persons served receive support services that increase the likelihood of progress in treatment and positive change.
NA The agency provides Diagnosis, Assessment, and Referral Services only.

NA The agency provides Detoxification Treatment only.
2020 Edition




Individuals and families who receive Mental Health and/or Substance Use Services improve social, emotional, psychological, cognitive, and family functioning and attain recovery and wellness.
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
  • Referral procedures
  • Copies of agreements with cooperating service providers and/or community resource and referral list, as appropriate
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Persons served
  • Review case records


PA-MHSU 10.01

The agency provides, either directly or by referral, necessary support services which may include, as appropriate:  
  1. work-related services and job placement;
  2. supported housing;
  3. transportation;
  4. social skills training;
  5. public benefits;
  6. educational services; and
  7. respite care.


Service members and veterans should be linked to any services or benefits for which they may be eligible, including Veterans Affairs health services.


PA-MHSU 10.02

The agency works with the service recipient to identify natural supports and social networks to cultivate and sustain a supportive community.
Examples: Social networking opportunities can include: social, recreational, education, or vocational activities; religious or spiritual gatherings; or neighborhood and community events that provide individuals with an opportunity to meet, support, and share experiences with peers.


PA-MHSU 10.03

Individuals who have primary responsibility for children receive accommodations for, or assistance with, child care arrangements.
NA The agency does not serve persons who have primary responsibility for children.
Examples: The agency may offer child care while treatment or support groups meet or provide referrals to community child care resources.