CSH in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) and Housing Innovations, just ended the second year of a revamped Supportive Housing Quality Initiative, providing an opportunity to celebrate successes and reflect on various needs for continued technical assistance.
DMHAS and CSH developed the CT Quality Standards to ensure tenants receive the best services and supports available and agencies share and incorporate best practices or promising practices to produce high-quality supportive housing programs in the state. In addition to providing technical assistance before, throughout, and after all phases of the initiative, CT's Quality Initiative is unique in that it employs a network of volunteers from peer agencies across the state to conduct the reviews. The process has allowed for ongoing information-sharing and accelerated quality improvement.
The new process kicked off in 2012 and as of January 1, 2015, nearly 85% of DMHAS-funded supportive housing agencies participated in the on-site reviews in addition to a diverse group of peer reviewers representing 46% of supportive housing agencies in Connecticut. The overall state average was an exceptional 91%, with score breakdowns as follows:
- Facilitated Access to Housing and Services: 96.8%
- Tenant Rights, Input and Leadership: 94.1%
- Housing Quality & Safety: 93.4%
- Support Services Design and Delivery: Client-Focused/Client-Centered Services & Tenant Engagement: 90.1%
- Support Services Design and Delivery: Services that Promote Recovery, Wellness and Community Integration: 91%
- Focus on Housing Stability: 93.3%
- Building Internal Quality Assurance Practices, Key Staffing and Coordination: 81.8%
Providers self-identified challenges and technical assistance needs on the systems, staffing, and service provision levels. Based on the themes that emerged from the 2014 quality reviews, CSH, DMHAS, and Housing Innovations staff addressed priority needs through training in the following areas:
- Tenants Aging in Supportive Housing
- Structure, Purpose and Roles for Supportive Housing Tenants
- Death, Dying, and Bereavement
- Supervision in Serving High Acuity Tenants
- Working With People Who Are Actively Using Substances
Overall, CSH staff and others involved on review teams observed that Connecticut's supportive housing agencies have an overall dedicated and loyal workforce who consistently find the use of a team approach within agencies and who are committed to the well-being and housing stability of the tenants.
Click here for more information about Connecticut's Supportive Housing Quality Initiative and available Quality Improvement resources in the state.