Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Outreach Services (PA-OS) 2: Personnel

Program personnel have the competency and support needed to provide services and meet the needs of youth, adults, and families experiencing homelessness.

Interpretation

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

Currently viewing: OUTREACH SERVICES (PA-OS)

VIEW THE STANDARDS

Purpose

Outreach Services identify and engage youth, adults, and families experiencing homelessness as a first step to accepting care for immediate health and safety needs, gaining access to community services and resources, taking steps toward community integration, and connecting to safe and stable housing.
1
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. 
2
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.
3

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.
4
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
  • Safety procedures for street outreach personnel
  • Sample job descriptions from across relevant job categories
  • Documentation tracking staff completion of required trainings and/or competencies
  • Training curricula
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
  • Review personnel files

 

PA-OS 2.01

Supervisors are qualified by:
  1. an advanced degree in social work or a comparable human service field and at least two years of direct care experience in human services; or
  2. a bachelor’s degree in social work or a comparable human service field and at least four years of direct care experience in human services.

 

PA-OS 2.02

Personnel who have frequent contact with individuals living with mental health and/or substance use conditions have clinical skills and/or are supervised by personnel with such skills.

 

PA-OS 2.03

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. the ability to handle rejection;
  3. recognizing and responding to signs of suicide risk;
  4. making linkages and referrals to community and housing services; and
  5. implementing the agency’s plans for managing medical or psychiatric emergencies.

Interpretation

Peer outreach workers should be trained on or demonstrate competency in these areas as needed based on their job responsibilities.

 

PA-OS 2.04

All direct service personnel are trained on, or demonstrate competency in, understanding the special service needs of service recipients, 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. pregnant and parenting mothers and/or fathers with young children;
  8. runaway and homeless children and youth;
  9. persons with current or past criminal justice system involvement;
  10. persons with current or past child welfare system involvement;
  11. persons with developmental disabilities; and
  12. older adults.

Interpretation

Peer outreach workers should be trained on or demonstrate competency in these areas as needed based on their job responsibilities.

 
Fundamental Practice

PA-OS 2.05

The agency ensures the safety of street outreach personnel by:
  1. developing procedures and trainings that address how to recognize and respond to street safety risks; and
  2. deploying at least a two-person team when necessary due to safety concerns.
NA The agency does not provide street outreach.

 

PA-OS 2.06

Peer outreach workers receive pre- and in-service training and ongoing supervision and support around: 
  1. the role of a peer outreach worker, including skills, concepts, and philosophies related to peer support; and
  2. established ethical guidelines, including setting appropriate boundaries and maintaining confidentiality.

Interpretation

Peer outreach workers establish relationships with service recipients that are based on mutual respect and trust and support bidirectional learning and reciprocity.
NA The agency does not utilize peer outreach workers.

 

PA-OS 2.07

Employee workloads support the achievement of client outcomes and are regularly reviewed.
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; and
  3. service volume, accounting for assessed level of needs of persons served.