Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Youth Psychosocial Services (PA-YPS) 6: Psychosocial Interventions

The program encourages youth to achieve their highest level of functioning by addressing specific emotional or behavioral needs and helping them to enhance coping skills. 
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
  • Program curriculum or sample daily program schedule
  • Community resource and referral list
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Youth served
  • Review case records
  • Observe the program

PA-YPS 6.01

The program offers at least two of the following services:
  1. counseling or supportive therapy, including individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy;
  2. peer support;
  3. case management;
  4. community-based activities; and
  5. recreational activities.


If the agency primarily acts as a coordinator rather than as a provider, as might be the case for Wraparound services, then they should document which of the services are provided by the partnering agencies.

PA-YPS 6.02

Core service components focus on helping youth improve and manage the quality of their lives by supporting the following:
  1. development of self-care and activities of daily living skills, such as personal hygiene and nutrition;
  2. medication compliance and an understanding of how to manage their illness/condition;
  3. socialization and effective communication;
  4. recreational and leisure time activities;
  5. organizational skills management;
  6. anger management;
  7. coping skills;
  8. conflict skill training;
  9. management of finances, if age appropriate; and
  10. vocational and/or educational development, depending on the age of the youth.

PA-YPS 6.03

The program offers youth a variety of opportunities to achieve service goals through individual, group, and/or milieu activities focused on:
  1. learning how to relate positively to others;
  2. anticipating and controlling behaviors that interfere with inclusion in the community;
  3. experiencing peer support and feedback;
  4. developing personal awareness and boundaries;
  5. engaging in positive problem solving methods;
  6. building on strengths and enhancing self-reliance and productivity; and
  7. celebrating competence and success.

PA-YPS 6.04

The agency directly provides, coordinates, or formally arranges for:
  1. 24-hour crisis intervention;
  2. crisis residential and other emergency services;
  3. inpatient and outpatient psychiatric services;
  4. medical and dental services;
  5. medication management;
  6. integrated mental health and substance use education and services;
  7. education-related services and assistance; 
  8. employment and life skills training; and
  9. legal advocacy and representation.

PA-YPS 6.05

The families/primary caregivers of youth are offered or referred to community services, including:
  1. family psychoeducation;
  2. emotional support and therapy;
  3. self-help referrals; and
  4. care coordination, as needed.