Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Youth Psychosocial Services (PA-YPS) 7: Social and Community Connection

Youth cultivate and sustain connections with their community and social support network to promote positive well-being.
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
  • Procedures for facilitating social and community connections
  • Informational materials made available to families
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Youth served
  • Review of case records
  • Observe a variety of activities


PA-YPS 7.01

The agency facilitates the youth’s ability to access all available services and successfully reintegrate into their community by: 
  1. remaining knowledgeable about local, regional, and state resources, including networking and leadership opportunities; and
  2. identifying and developing opportunities for youth to develop positive ties to the community based on mutual interests and abilities.


PA-YPS 7.02

Social and community connections are encouraged by providing or sharing information about opportunities for youth and their families/primary caregiver to participate in:
  1. social, recreational, educational, or vocational activities in their community;
  2. religious observances in the faith group or spirituality of choice; and
  3. family and neighborhood activities consistent with the youth’s ethnic and cultural heritage and tribal affiliation.


PA-YPS 7.03

The program provides most of its services in the community and works with youth to:
  1. effectively navigate the surrounding environment;
  2. identify and use natural resources and peer support to create a supportive community;
  3. develop social support networks and build healthy, meaningful relationships with caring individuals of their choosing; and
  4. participate in group activities where they can meet, support, and share experiences with peers.


Agencies should tailor life skills training to meet the age and developmental level of the youth being served.
Examples: “Caring individuals” may include mentors, community members, friends, classmates, peers, siblings, cousins, grandparents, former resource families, and extended family members.


PA-YPS 7.04

The agency:
  1. makes reasonable efforts to match training and employment opportunities to the goals and interests of youth; and
  2. prohibits exploitation of youth in employment-related training or gainful employment.
NA The agency does not provide employment-related training or jobs to youth.