Common assessment and referral processes

Common assessment and referral processes

The use of common scales ensures that people are assessed and service plans are made, using evidence and shared terms of reference rather than a first-come-first-serve basis. Some examples of assessment scales used in the homelessness sector include: the Calgary Acuity Scale, which measures levels of client complexity; the Vulnerability Index, which is used to determine mortality risk; or the HART tool, which measures risk of homelessness. When it is combined with a common referral process and shared terms of reference (e.g. episodic homelessness or acute mental health issues), an agreed upon assessment protocol is key to hooking clients into an appropriate service pathway. For example, even though a person exiting a criminal justice facility might enter the homelessness system through an emergency shelter, a comprehensive, shared assessment and referral process can be used to ensure that re-integration supports (including affordable housing and employment services) are quickly brought into place for this individual.