Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Shelter Services (PA-SH) 10: Case Closing and Aftercare

The agency works with persons served and family members, when appropriate, to plan for case closing and, when possible, to develop aftercare plans that include supports and services needed to adjust to living in the community and maintain stable housing.


Service planning and aftercare planning are often the same process and service and aftercare plans are often integrated.
2020 Edition

Currently viewing: SHELTER SERVICES (PA-SH)



Shelter Services meet the basic needs of individuals and families who are homeless or in transition, support family stabilization or independent living, and facilitate access to services and permanent housing.
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 planning and follow-up procedures
  • Relevant portions of contract with public authority, as applicable
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Persons or families served
  • Review case records


PA-SH 10.01

Planning for case closing:
  1. is a clearly defined process that includes assignment of staff responsibility; 
  2. begins at intake; and 
  3. involves the worker, persons served, and others, as appropriate to the needs and wishes of the service recipient.


PA-SH 10.02

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


PA-SH 10.03

If an individual 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-SH 10.04

When appropriate, the agency works with persons served and their family to:
  1. develop an aftercare plan, sufficiently in advance of case closing, that identifies short- and long-term needs and goals and facilitates the initiation or continuation of needed supports and services; or
  2. conduct a formal case closing evaluation, including an assessment of unmet need, when the agency has an interagency agreement  that does not include aftercare planning or follow-up.


PA-SH 10.05

The agency explores a range of aftercare alternatives with runaway and homeless children and youth based on their needs, including:
  1. return to family when possible and in the best interest of the individual served;
  2. reconnection with family and continuously strengthened family relationships;
  3. referral to community-based residential facilities or foster care; and
  4. residing with friends, relatives, or independently in the community.


When children and youth are returned to family, family members should receive information and support to help them understand the needs of the child or youth and promote successful reintegration with the family and community. It is especially important to provide culturally relevant education and guidance for diverse families with children who identify as LGBTQ.


Educating parents on sex trafficking is an important component to prevention, identification, and treatment. Information provided should address how parents can raise their children in an environment free of abuse, neglect, and exploitation, through information on topics such as internet safety, how to respond when a child runs away, and developing healthy relationships. Additionally, information for parents of trafficking victims should emphasize the issue of stigma associated with prostitution to help the family provide a healthy, nonjudgmental home environment, supportive of a successful reintegration.
NA The agency does not provide shelter for runaway and homeless children and youth, children and youth in foster care, or unaccompanied children without legal status.
Examples: Aftercare plans may take into account differences in the needs of youth, for example:
  1. youth who have left home;
  2. youth for whom returning home is not an appropriate or safe plan;
  3. youth meeting legal requirements for emancipation;
  4. youth who are without family or community supports; and
  5. youth who are rejected by their families, including youth who identify as LGBTQ.


PA-SH 10.06

The agency follows up on the aftercare plan, as appropriate, when possible, and with the permission of persons served.
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.