Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Youth Independent Living Services (PA-YIL) 2: Personnel

Personnel have the competency and support needed to to provide services and meet the needs of youth.


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




Young adults who receive Youth Independent Living Services obtain safe and stable housing, develop life skills and competencies including work readiness, achieve educational and financial growth goals, and establish healthy, supportive adult and peer relationships.
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
  • Table of contents of training curricula
  • Procedures or other documentation relevant to continuity of care and case assignment
  • Sample job descriptions from across relevant job categories
  • Documentation tracking staff completion of required trainings and/or competencies
  • Training curricula
  • Caseload size requirements set by policy, regulation, or contract, when applicable
  • Documentation of current caseload size per worker


  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
  • Review personnel files

PA-YIL 2.01

Personnel providing counseling and case coordination services are qualified by:
  1. a bachelor’s degree in social work or another human services field; and 
  2. two years of relevant youth work experience, including experience in case work, group work, and case coordination.

PA-YIL 2.02

Supervisors are qualified by:
  1. an advanced degree in social work or related field, experience delivering youth services, and supervisory experience; or
  2. a bachelor’s degree in social work or related field, two years of direct service experience with a comparable population, and three years of supervisory experience.

PA-YIL 2.03

All direct service personnel are trained on, or demonstrate competency in:
  1. positive youth development;
  2. normative youth development and the effects of early trauma, educational gaps and delays, and abuse and neglect on youth development;
  3. public assistance programs, eligibility requirements, and benefits;
  4. local housing resources; and
  5. the community service delivery system.

PA-YIL 2.04

When serving severely and persistently mentally ill, HIV diagnosed, or chemically dependent youth, or youth with other special health and mental health issues, staff-to-supervisor ratios are 1:6.
NA The program is not designed to serve youth with special health or mental health needs.

PA-YIL 2.05

The agency minimizes the number of workers assigned to the youth over the course of their contact with the agency by:
  1. assigning a worker at intake or early in the contact; and
  2. avoiding the arbitrary or indiscriminate reassignment of direct service personnel.

PA-YIL 2.06

Caseloads support the achievement of youth outcomes, are regularly reviewed, and generally range between 12 and 20 cases.


The number of cases carried should be smaller when youth receive counseling or other intensive services, and the worker's travel time or geographic area is extensive, than when a worker is providing primarily follow-up contact and less intensive, more centralized services.
Examples: Factors that may be considered when determining employee workloads include, but are not limited to:
  1. case complexity, special needs, and circumstances;
  2. age and population characteristics, including ethnic and cultural factors;
  3. the qualifications, competencies, and experience of the worker, including the level of supervision needed;
  4. the work and time required to accomplish assigned tasks and job responsibilities;
  5. case status, and progress toward achievement of desired outcomes; and
  6. service volume.