Standards for private organizations

2020 Edition

Shelter Services (SH) 10: Case Closing and Aftercare

The organization 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.

Interpretation

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

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Purpose

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.
1
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,   
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • In a few instances, the organization terminated services inappropriately; or  
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent; or
  • A formal case closing evaluation is not consistently provided to the public authority per the requirements of the standard.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Services are frequently terminated inappropriately; or  
  • Aftercare planning is not initiated early enough to ensure orderly transitions; or
  • A formal case closing summary and assessment is seldom provided to the public authority per the requirements of the standard; or  
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing. 
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

 

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.

 

SH 10.02

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

 

SH 10.03

If an individual has to leave the program unexpectedly, the organization makes every effort to identify other service options and link the person with appropriate services.

Interpretation

The organization 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.

 

SH 10.04

When appropriate, the organization 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 organization has a contract with a public authority that does not include aftercare planning or follow-up.

 

SH 10.05

The organization 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.

Interpretation

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.

Interpretation

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 organization has a contract with a public authority that prohibits or does not include aftercare planning.

NA The organization 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.

 

SH 10.06

The organization follows up on the aftercare plan, as appropriate, when possible, and with the permission of persons served.
NA The organization has a contract with a public authority that prohibits or does not include aftercare planning or follow-up.
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.