Intentional Care is a comprehensive set of Performance Standards that help bridge the gap between the principles of recovery and empowerment and the real-world application of these principles in the everyday work of direct service staff and their supervisors. The Intentional Care Performance Standards were developed by Advocates, Inc. and Patricia E. Deegan, Ph.D.

In our day-to-day work we encounter many difficult and ambiguous situations. Examples include:
If a client graduates from college and invites you to a celebration dinner at his/her apartment, what should you do?

If a client won't shower is it best to let him/her suffer the natural consequences of their choice?

If a client asks if you have ever received mental health services, what should you say?

If a client offers you a gift for Christmas, is it OK to take it?

If you discover that a client is a member of the same health club you belong to, what should you do

If a client is refusing to take out the garbage in his/her apartment, what should you do?

When you go to the local coffee shop on your day off, the owner complains to you about a client in your program and tells you that unless you do something, the client will be banned from entering the shop. What do you say to the shop owner?

If a client chooses to keep drinking caffeine even though it makes him/her anxious and exacerbates symptoms. What do you do?
Intentional Care Performance Standards offer staff and supervisors performance based guidelines for making decisions in these and other difficult or ambiguous situations. Intentional Care Performance Standards have been developed for the following domains:
1. Role of the Direct Service Worker
2. Client Choice
3. Professional Boundaries
4. Confidentiality
5. Cleaning: Group Homes
6. Cleaning: Supported Housing
7. Community Integration
8. Communicating Respectfully About the People with Whom We Work

The Intentional Care Toolkit

Intentional Care Performance Standards are a core part of the training and supervision of Advocates direct care staff. We are pleased to offer a toolkit for implementing Intentional Care Performance Standards in your organization. You may download a pdf of the toolkit by clicking here. It includes:
The full text of the Intentional Care Performance Standards

Competency evaluations for each standard so you can assess staff's mastery of each one

Performance-based evaluation forms to assess how staff implement the standards in actual practice

Role-plays for each standard that help you train staff

A supervisory tool for helping staff assess their personal limits in relation to professional boundaries

Consultation and Training

The daily work of providing direct services is challenging and even the most well intentioned programs may find it difficult to safeguard time to make programmatic innovations. At Advocates, we have found that having a consultant as point-person for the development and implementation of the performance standards has been a key to our success. We have skilled consultants and trainers who can assist your agency and help keep your group focused on implementing and revising the standards over time. Our trainers will:
Give a workshop to your staff to help launch the standards in our organization

Help you plan a strategy to implement the standards

Provide ongoing consultation to your organization as you develop and refine the standards to fit your programmatic approach and philosophy

Consult to your organization in person, by phone or by email

For More Information

To download a pdf file of the Intentional Care Toolkit, simply click on the following link:

If you are interested in Intentional Care training or consultation, please send an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
Advocates Inc., One Clarks Hill, Suite 305, Framingham, MA 01702
508.628.6300 | TTY 508.628.6303 | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
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Supporting you, your loved ones, your friends, Your neighbors...

Advocates provides support services for people with:
  • Mental illness or co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse
  • Intellectual or developmental disabilities or co-occurring mental illness and developmental disability
  • Prader-Willi Syndrome
  • Autism and pervasive developmental disabilities
  • Acquired or traumatic brain injury
We also provide support services for:
  • Deaf adults with mental illness or a developmental disability
  • Families who are supporting a family member with a disability
  • Elders living in the community who may have a mental illness or substance abuse disorder
  • Adults with a mental health diagnosis in jail or re-entering the community
  • Youth in transition from foster care
  • Individuals and families who are homeless or at risk for homelessness


How to access services