Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Residential Treatment Services (PA-RTX) 12: Community and Social Connections

Residents cultivate and sustain connections with their community and social support network to promote positive well-being.
NA The agency only operates a crisis stabilization unit, short-term diagnostic center, or detoxification program.
2020 Edition




Residential Treatment Services provide individualized therapeutic interventions and a range of services, including education for residents to increase productive and pro-social behavior, improve functioning and well-being, and return to a stable living arrangement in the community.
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 facilitating community and social connections
  • Policy that prohibits exploitation of individuals in employment-related training or jobs
  • Community resource list
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Residents
  • Review case records
  • Observe a variety of activities


PA-RTX 12.01

The agency facilitates residents’ ability to access all available services and successfully reintegrate into their community by:
  1. remaining knowledgeable about local, regional, and state resources, including networking and leadership opportunities; and
  2. identifying opportunities for individuals to develop positive ties to the community based on mutual interests and abilities.


PA-RTX 12.02

Agencies create a normative environment for residents while they are in care and provide residents opportunities to participate in:
  1. culturally and developmentally appropriate social, recreational, educational, or vocational activities in their community;
  2. religious observances in the faith group or spirituality of choice; and
  3. family and neighborhood activities consistent with the resident’s ethnic and cultural heritage and tribal affiliation.
Examples: Activities in the community can include sports teams, drama, choir, and musical groups that promote pro-social behaviors and values.


PA-RTX 12.03

Residents are helped to develop social support networks and build healthy, meaningful relationships with caring individuals of their choosing.
Examples: “Caring individuals” may include mentors, community members, friends, classmates, peers, siblings, cousins, grandparents, former foster parents, and extended family members.


PA-RTX 12.04

The agency encourages social and community integration through the development of life skills necessary to:
  1. navigate the surrounding environment;
  2. access community resources, such as banks, employment agencies, government offices, and recreational and educational agencies;
  3. pursue educational and occupational opportunities;
  4. obtain housing;
  5. manage finances;
  6. access public assistance;
  7. communicate effectively and resolve conflicts;
  8. participate in recreational activities and/or hobbies; and
  9. prepare for leaving care and family reintegration, independent living, or another less restrictive setting, if applicable.


This standard is applicable for all residents regardless of age. Agencies should tailor life skills training to meet the age and developmental level of the service population.


PA-RTX 12.05

The agency offers employment opportunities or employment-related training to residents and:
  1. makes reasonable efforts to match training and employment opportunities to the goals and interests of individual residents;
  2. paid job opportunities are completely voluntary; and
  3. a policy prohibiting exploitation of residents is maintained.
NA The agency does not provide employment-related training or jobs to residents.