Program personnel have the competency and support needed to provide services and meet the needs of individuals experiencing homelessness.
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.
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.
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.
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
With some exceptions, staff (direct service providers, supervisors, and program managers) possess the required qualifications, including education, experience, training, skills, temperament, etc., but the integrity of the service is not compromised; or
Supervisors provide additional support and oversight, as needed, to the few staff without the listed qualifications; or
Most staff who do not meet educational requirements are seeking to obtain them; or
With few exceptions, staff have received required training, including applicable specialized training; or
Training curricula are not fully developed or lack depth; or
Training documentation is consistently maintained and kept up-to-date with some exceptions; or
A substantial number of supervisors meet the requirements of the standard, and the organization provides training and/or consultation to improve competencies when needed; or
With few exceptions, caseload sizes are consistently maintained as required by the standards or as required by internal policy when caseload has not been set by a standard; or
Workloads are such that staff can effectively accomplish their assigned tasks and provide quality services and are adjusted as necessary; or
Specialized services are obtained as required by the standards.
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
A significant number of staff (direct service providers, supervisors, and program managers) do not possess the required qualifications, including education, experience, training, skills, temperament, etc.; and as a result, the integrity of the service may be compromised; or
Job descriptions typically do not reflect the requirements of the standards, and/or hiring practices do not document efforts to hire staff with required qualifications when vacancies occur; or
Supervisors do not typically provide additional support and oversight to staff without the listed qualifications; or
A significant number of staff have not received required training, including applicable specialized training; or
Training documentation is poorly maintained; or
A significant number of supervisors do not meet the requirements of the standard, and the organization makes little effort to provide training and/or consultation to improve competencies; or
There are numerous instances where caseload sizes exceed the standards' requirements or the requirements of internal policy when a caseload size is not set by the standard; or
Workloads are excessive, and the integrity of the service may be compromised; or
Specialized staff are typically not retained as required and/or many do not possess the required qualifications; or
Specialized services are infrequently obtained as required by the standards.
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards.
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
Coverage schedules for the past six months
Caseload size requirements set by policy, regulation, or contract, when applicable
Documentation of current caseload size per worker
Interviews may include:
Review personnel files
Personnel providing case management are qualified by:
a bachelor’s degree in social work or a comparable human service field; or
at least five years of direct care experience in human services.
Supervisors of direct service personnel are qualified by:
an advanced degree in social work or a comparable human service field and at least two years of direct care experience in human services; or
a bachelor’s degree in social work or a comparable human service field and four years of direct care experience in human services.
When clinical services are provided on-site, experienced personnel with an advanced degree in social work, psychology, counseling, psychiatry, psychiatric nursing, or other human services, provide:
case supervision or case consultation;
overall guidance to the program; and
training of direct service and supervisory personnel.
NAProgram personnel do not provide clinical services.
All direct service personnel are trained on, or demonstrate competency in:
understanding homelessness, including the causes and effects of homelessness, overrepresented and vulnerable populations, impact of homelessness on child development, barriers to exiting homelessness, and service needs;
understanding stigma and labeling;
harm reduction; and
recognizing and responding to signs of suicide risk.
All direct service personnel are trained on, or demonstrate competency in, understanding the special service needs of service recipients, including, as appropriate:
individuals coping with substance use and/or mental health issues, including dual diagnosis;
individuals coping with trauma, including how to recognize trauma and appropriate interventions for addressing the acute needs of trauma victims;
individuals with HIV/AIDS;
individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or gender non-conforming;
individuals and families who have been victims of violence, abuse, or neglect;
individuals who may be the victims of human trafficking or sexual exploitation, including screening methods to identify potential victims;
pregnant and parenting mothers and/or fathers with young children;
runaway and homeless children and youth;
persons with current or past criminal justice system involvement;
persons with current or past child welfare system involvement;
persons with developmental disabilities; and
Case managers and other relevant staff are trained on, or demonstrate competency in:
basic counseling skills;
conducting safety assessments, when service recipients are victims of human trafficking, sexual exploitation, or domestic violence;
conducting assessments using standardized instruments;
local housing resources;
conducting housing searches;
issues related to individuals involved with multiple systems; and
reconnecting runaway and homeless youth to their families.
There is at least one person certified in basic first aid and CPR on duty at each program site, at any time the program is in operation.
Supervisors or other designated personnel are available or on call 24 hours a day.
The organization minimizes the number of workers assigned to persons served over the course of their contact with the organization by:
assigning a worker at intake or early in the contact; and
avoiding the arbitrary or indiscriminate reassignment of direct service personnel.
One of the most important aspects of care for victims of human trafficking and other forms of trauma is to be able to develop a consistent, trusting relationship with one staff person who serves as the central coordinator for the full myriad of needed services.
Employee workloads support the achievement of client outcomes and are regularly reviewed.