Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Residential Treatment Services (PA-RTX) 20: Case Closing and Aftercare

The agency works with residents and family members, when appropriate, to plan for case closing and, when possible, to provide aftercare.
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
  • Case closing procedures
  • Aftercare and follow-up procedures 
  • Relevant portions of interagency agreement, as applicable
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Residents and their families
  • Review case records

PA-RTX 20.01

Planning for case closing:
  1. is clearly defined and includes assignment of staff responsibility;
  2. begins at intake; and
  3. involves the worker, the resident, a parent or legal guardian, and others, as appropriate to the needs and wishes of the resident.

PA-RTX 20.02

Upon case closing, the agency notifies any collaborating service providers, as appropriate.

PA-RTX 20.03

When an individual or family has to leave the program unexpectedly the agency makes every effort to identify other service options and link the person with appropriate services.


The agency must determine on a case-by-case basis its responsibility to continue providing services to persons whose third-party benefits are denied or have ended and who are in critical situations.

PA-RTX 20.04

As a continuing resource for information, crisis management, referral, and support, the agency provides each resident with:
  1. a transition/aftercare plan summary, including the individual’s options;
  2. a list of emergency contacts; and
  3. the agency's contact information.

PA-RTX 20.05

The agency follows up on the transition/aftercare plan, as appropriate, when possible, and with the permission of persons served.
NA The agency has an interagency agreement that does not include aftercare planning or follow-up.
Examples: Reasons why follow-up may not be appropriate, include, but are not limited to, cases where the person’s participation is involuntary, or where there may be a risk to the individual such as in cases of domestic violence.