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OARTY is committed to promoting high standards and evidence informed practice for the sector. 

As part of OARTY's commitment to excellence in residential care and services, a set of standards were developed as part of eh association's broader efforts to ensure the highest quality of care for children, youth and adults in need in Ontario.  These standards are meant to go beyond the standards legislated by our licensing Ministry in an effort to promote best practice and the highest quality of services possible. 

The standards along with the supporting principles and beliefs, specify the criteria against which the performance of persons, programs or agencies can be measured and are intended to clearly define our beliefs about the welfare of individuals requiring residential care. 

OARTY recognizes that its member agencies provide a wide array of services and vary in settings and client populations. The standards were developed with respect and appreciation for the unique blend of services offered by OARTY members. 

These Standards should be viewed as directing principles toward the most desirable, beneficial, effective, and ethical levels of performance. They are designed to assist OARTY members in the development of their policies and practices, in the operation of their day-to-day activities, and to help caregivers understand their respective roles and responsibilities.

Standards & Beliefs 

Principles on which the Standards are based: 

We Believe:

  1. That every activity of the agency must be therapeutic, from counseling to food service, from group living to maintenance.

    At its best, the provision of treatment services incorporates a holistic blend of all programs and activities in the course of daily care.   It is, then, a comprehensive approach to addressing a client’s diverse needs. Toward that end, we make the following commitments:

a. To make every contact an opportunity for positive influence and growth.
b. To place the needs of the people we serve at the forefront of everything we do. 
c. To actively involve clients in all aspects of their care.
d. To provide services which are appropriate for the client and family.

  1. That those who provide direct care are our most precious resource.  The manner in which  we  treat  all  current,  prospective  and  past  care  providers  reflects  the strength of our belief in a person’s value.

    The quality of our programs can only be as good as the employees, staff and care providers who work directly with our clients.  The value we place on each person and the need to treat each person with respect and dignity extends to our staff, employees, care providers as well as our clients. All human resources practices, from recruitment, to staff development and training should reflect a desire to support care providers in the best way possible, so that they in turn may serve the needs of the children, youth and adults and families in our care. A  well-trained  staff  team  committed  to  ongoing  learning  results  in  the  continuous improvement of our services. Towards that end we make the following commitments:

a. To create a positive work atmosphere aimed at meeting employee needs.
b. To treat all care providers as professional colleagues and as integral members of the treatment team.
c. To  plan  staffing  with  the  objective  of  providing  services  which  meet  the  highest therapeutic standards.
d. To  provide  effective   programs   for   staff   orientation,  training  and  professional development.
e. To provide staff with ongoing support, guidance and supervision that balances the needs of the person with the tasks to be performed.
f. To include staff input when developing programs and policies.

  1. That healthy, honest and open communication among all persons at all levels is essential to the quality of the service we provide personnel and clientele.

    Communication is key to any positive healthy and respectful relationship.   We value an atmosphere that is receptive to the concerns and opinion of others.  Toward that end we make the following commitments:

a. To ensure that formal lines of authority, accountability, communication and decision making are clear.
b. To maintain professional standards of communication and confidentiality.
c. To welcome all persons to share their thoughts, feelings and beliefs regardless of position.
d. To provide a process whereby relevant and necessary information is accessible to care providers, children, youth, adults and their families.

  1. That spirituality, as each of us understands it, helps us become whole and gives us the power and the hope to change our lives for the better.

    We recognize that our service addresses the whole person and focuses on becoming healthy and balanced individuals. OARTY and its members recognize that the spiritual dimension is integral to human life and helps us become whole.  Towards that end we make the following commitments:

a. To use respectful and affirming language.
b. To be open and respectful.
c. To treat all people as unique individuals.
d. To promote religious and cultural understanding and acceptance among our clients and staff.
e. To provide programs that are sensitive to the diverse physical, emotional, religious and cultural needs of those we serve.

  1. That  all resources, financial,  human, property,  etc. available  to  us  are  at  the service of our agencies to enrich the quality of care of the children, youth, adults and their families.

    OARTY and its members recognize the responsibility entrusted to us, that while practicing a prudent distribution of resources, we will not compromise the quality of care.  Towards that end we make the following commitments:

a. To ensure the needs of our clients guide our budget process.
b. To involve staff at all levels within the agencies, in the budget process as is appropriate. c.   To pursue and practice justice in providing fair and competitive wages and benefits to staff.
c. To prudently invest in resources for long-term fulfillment of best practices. 
d. To involve staff in the assessment of how resources are utilized.
e. To make the retention and training of staff a top priority.

  1. That any environment to which we expose our children, youth, adults and their families will reflect generous and nurturing care as it is essential to their growth, safety and security.

    Each factor in the environment has an important effect on the individual. The environment should be shaped to enhance the individual’s personal qualities, self-esteem and happiness. Towards that end we make the following commitments:

a. To reflect the quality of care in all aspects of our physical residence and all other environments to which we expose our children.
b. To respect the place where our clients reside as their home and create a safe, accepting, caring, guiding and nurturing environment.
c. To accept diversity, in culture, physical and emotional development, and family history, but not limiting our acceptance to those.
d. To encourage clients and caregivers to take responsibility and ownership for their shared environment.
e. To keep our facilities and furnishings clean and in a good repair and create a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere.

  1. That in an atmosphere of respect and integrity, we can support each other, while making every effort to promote and maintain the highest ethical standards of this profession.

    OARTY members share a common mission.  We will strive for the provisions of the highest standards in a spirit of mutual concern and support.   Towards that end we make the following commitments:

a. To collaborate in our efforts to advocate for quality services and adequate resources on behalf of those we serve.
b. To develop a network for sharing information, concerns, solutions and resources.
c. To support each member’s endeavors to uphold and maintain the standards of our Association.
d. To be professional in our representation and promotion of OARTY.

  1. That we are partners with our community.

    An effective community based program establishes supportive working relationships in order to enrich the lives of those we serve.  This includes our relationship with our local schools, hospitals, recreation centers, neighbours and any other community organization whose services impact our clients. It is equally important that we are contributing members of our own communities by being supportive, accountable, and aware of its needs and concerns. Toward that end we make the following commitments:

a. To  be  familiar  with  neighbourhood  organizations  and  other  relevant  community resources.
b. To enhance our treatment and support services by integrating available and appropriate community resources.
c. To maintain complimentary and collaborative relationships with our communities.
d. To interpret our programs and services to the community and represent OARTY’s mission in a professional, and positive manner.
e. To be responsive to community concerns.

For full details on these standards, including best practice tips, please download the following file:

OARTY Standards & Beliefs (pdf)