Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Youth Psychosocial Services (PA-YPS) 2: Personnel

Personnel providing youth psychosocial or wraparound services have the competency and support needed to provide services and meet the needs of the youth served.


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




Youth participating in Psychosocial Services receive community based services that facilitate childhood development and resiliency using a holistic approach that improves family functioning and increases child well-being and safety.
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-YPS 2.01

Personnel providing direct services are qualified by: 
  1. a bachelor’s degree in a health-related field;
  2. an associate’s degree in a health-related field and minimum of one year of experience;
  3. 30 hours, or their equivalent, of college credit toward a bachelor’s degree in a health-related field and 1 year of experience; or
  4. two years of work experience in a supervised mental health setting.


PA-YPS 2.02

Direct service supervisors are qualified according to services provided, program design, and regulations and by one or more of the following:
  1. an advanced degree in a human services field and a minimum of two years professional experience;
  2. substantial experience in the psychosocial rehabilitation field which, based on the organization’s decision, substitutes for specific educational requirements; and/or
  3. national or state certification, licensing, or registration in the psychosocial or psychiatric rehabilitation field.
 Example: Some states require those in a supervisory role have certification or licensure by the designated authority in their state, such as the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association Children's Psychiatric Rehabiliation Certificate.


PA-YPS 2.03

The program is under the direction of a rehabilitation specialist who has a minimum of two years direct care experience working with youth with a serious emotional disorder and who is:
  1. a licensed mental health professional; or
  2. a member of Psychosocial Rehabilitation Canada/Readaption Psychosociale Canada (PSR/RPS Canada) and has obtained the PSR/RPS Canada Psychosocial Rehabilitation Recovery Practitioner Certificate. 


Rehabilitation specialists may have a dual role of supervisor and program director, if their workload permits.


PA-YPS 2.04

A rehabilitation specialist is employed for:
  1. at least 20 hours per week when the program serves less than 30 youth; or
  2. at least 40 hours per week when the program serves 30 or more youth.


PA-YPS 2.05

Direct service personnel are trained on, or demonstrate competency in:
  1. partnering and engaging with families;
  2. the use, management, and side effects of psychotropic medications;
  3. youth psychiatric rehabilitation process and evidence based practices;
  4. the needs of youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or gender non-conforming;
  5. the characteristics and treatment of emotional or behavioral problems of youth; and
  6. recovery and recognizing the risk factors that increase vulnerability to relapse.


PA-YPS 2.06

The agency maintains service continuity for youth by:
  1. assigning a worker early in the contact, when appropriate; and
  2. minimizing the number of workers assigned to an individual over the course of their contact with the agency.


PA-YPS 2.07

Employee workloads support the achievement of youth outcomes and are regularly reviewed.
Examples: Factors that may be considered when determining employee workloads include, but are not limited to:
  1. the qualifications, competencies, and experience of the worker, including the level of supervision needed;
  2. the work and time required to accomplish assigned tasks and job responsibilities; and
  3. service volume, accounting for assessed level of needs of clients.