Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Pregnancy Support Services (PA-PS) 6: Health Services

Expectant parents are linked to the health services necessary to promote parent well-being, healthy births, and healthy child development.
NA The agency provides only Pregnancy Options Counseling or Birth Options Counseling.
2020 Edition




Individuals who participate in Pregnancy Support Services learn about parenthood, make informed decisions about their pregnancies, stay healthy, and pursue their educational and vocational goals.
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 referring individuals to services
  • Community resource and referral list
  • Informational/educational materials
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Persons served
  • Review case records

Fundamental Practice

PA-PS 6.01

Expectant parents are linked to the following healthcare services, as appropriate to their needs:
  1. prenatal health care;
  2. genetic risk identification and counseling services;
  3. labor and delivery services;
  4. diagnosis and treatment of health problems, including sexually transmitted diseases;
  5. dental care;
  6. mental health care, including information, screening, and treatment for postpartum depression;
  7. postpartum care;
  8. ongoing health care, including routine medical checkups; and
  9. pediatric care, including well-baby visits and immunizations.

Fundamental Practice

PA-PS 6.02

Expectant parents are helped to access other services needed to promote parental well-being and healthy births, including, as appropriate:
  1. food and nutrition services;
  2. smoking cessation services; and
  3. services for substance use conditions.

PA-PS 6.03

Expectant parents are helped to sign up for health insurance when coverage is available and receive information about other options for care, such as free clinics, when insurance coverage is not available.

Fundamental Practice

PA-PS 6.04

To help expectant parents stay healthy and prevent unintended subsequent pregnancies, the agency:
  1. provides information and education about the prevention and treatment of diseases, including HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases;
  2. provides information and education about pregnancy prevention, pregnancy planning, and the spacing of children; and
  3. links expectant parents to family planning services.


When an agency does not provide linkages to family planning services because doing so is counter to its mission, 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.