More information about the Pennsylvania
Community Support Program is available from the Department
of Program Welfare web site.
Program Values and Principles
The CSP philosophy is embodied in a set of guiding principles,
emphasizing client self-determination, individualized and flexible
services, normalized services and service settings, and service
Services should be consumer-centered. Services
should be based on and responsive to the needs of the client rather
than the needs of the system or the needs of providers.
Services should empower clients. Services should
incorporate consumer self-help approaches and should be provided
in a manner that allows clients to retain the greatest possible
control over their own lives. As much as possible, clients should
set their own goals and decide what services they will receive.
Clients also should be actively involved in all aspects of planning
and delivering services.
Services should be racially and culturally appropriate.
Services should be available, accessible and acceptable to members
of racial and ethnic minority groups and women.
Services should be flexible. Services should be
built upon the assets and strengths of clients in order to help
them maintain a sense of identity, dignity and self-esteem.
Services should be normalized and incorporate natural supports.
Services should be offered in the least restrictive, most natural
setting possible. Clients should be encouraged to use the natural
supports in the community and should be integrated into the normal
living, working, learning and leisure time activities of the community.
Services should meet special needs. Services should
be adapted to meet the needs of subgroups of severely mentally ill
persons such as elderly individuals in the community or institutions;
young adults and youth in transition to adulthood; mentally ill
individuals with substance abuse problems, mental retardation, or
hearing impairments; mentally ill persons who are homeless; and
mentally ill persons who are inappropriately placed within the correctional
Services systems should be accountable. Service
providers should be accountable to the users of the services and
monitored by the state to assure quality of care and continued relevance
to client needs. Primary consumers and families should be involved
in planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating services.
Services should be coordinated. In order to develop
community support systems, services should be coordinated through
mandates or written agreements that require ongoing communication
and linkages between participating agencies and between the various
levels of government. In order to be effective, coordination must
occur at the client, community and state levels. In addition, mechanisms
should be in place to ensure continuity of care and coordination
between hospital and other community services.
(Taken from "Community Support Systems: Questions and
Answers," by The National Institute of Mental Health Community