Homelessness is a social condition increasing in frequency and severity across Canada. Interventions to end and prevent homelessness include effective case management in addition to an affordable housing provision. Little standardization exists for service providers to guide their decision making in developing and maintaining effective case management programs. The purpose of this 2-part article is to articulate dimensions of promising practice for case managers working in a "Housing First" context. Part 1 discusses research processes and findings and part-2 articulates the 6 Dimensions of Quality.
Practice settings include community-based organizations that employ and support case managers whose primary role is moving people from homelessness into permanent housing.
Six dimensions of promising practice are critically important to reducing barriers, improving sector collaboration, and ensuring case managers have appropriate and effective training and support. Dimensions of promising practice are: (1) collaboration and cooperation-a true team approach; (2) right matching of services-person-centered; (3) contextual case management-culture and flexibility; (4) the right kind of engagement-relationships and advocacy; (5) coordinated and well managed system-ethics and communication; and (6) evaluation for success-support and training.
Effective, coordinated case management, in addition to permanent affordable housing has the potential to reduce a person or family's homelessness permanently. Organizations and professionals working in this context have the opportunity to improve processes, reduce burnout, collaborate and standardize, and most importantly, efficiently and permanently end someone's homelessness with the help of dimensions of quality for case management.