Programs are distinct units of an agency where clients can be referred, enrolled, and receive program-specific services. You can set up programs with their own screens, services, and eligibility requirements. Programs in Clarity Human Services correspond with projects in the HUD HMIS Data Standards, and Project Descriptor Data Elements are recorded within a program's setup.
|Note: Only users with Manage Agency enabled in their access role may create and edit programs.|
Note that, to complete program creation, you will need to configure several additional system components:
- Screens: data collection for programs occurs through screens. Screens are assigned to Program Templates, which are assigned to Programs. Assessment screens can be assigned directly to programs as Program Assessments (described below). Only system administrators can configure screens. See the Screens series of Help Center articles for guidance on creating and editing screens.
- Program Template: screens are assigned to program templates, and program templates are assigned to programs. Every program must have a program template. These templates define the screens assigned to different data collection stages and other elements of the program. Only system administrators can configure program templates. See Program Templates for guidance on creating and editing templates.
- Services: to record a Service at the Program level, you will first need to create and assign that Service to the Program. For more information on creating and editing services, see Introduction to Services.
Create or Modify a Program
To create or modify a program, first ensure that you are in the correct Agency. From the Launchpad, navigate to Manage > Programs > Add New Program or, if the program exists, click the Edit icon to the left of the program name.
In addition to the program names, the Programs tab displays the Project Type, the Program Template currently assigned to the program, the number of services linked to the program, and programs with a Status of "Inactive."
Configuring the Program
After providing a name, alias (if applicable), and description (if applicable) for the program, choose a Program Template. See Creating & Editing Program Templates for more information.
|Note: Program Name cannot contain the < symbol (e.g. "<Test Program").|
Several configuration options are available when creating a program, some of which are associated with the HMIS Data Standards. The options available will depend on whether a custom program screen is associated with the selected Program Template. The options listed here are those included in the system's "HUD HMIS Project Setup” program screen, which contains the necessary fields (HMIS Project Descriptor Data Elements) for complying with the HUD HMIS Data Standards.
Operating Start and End Date: the date the program started and ended (if applicable) (HMIS Data Elements 2.02). Before you can add an Operating End Date to the system, all clients must be exited on or before the Operating End Date.
Status: an "Active" program is available to users. An "Inactive" program is unavailable to users, but its information is still available in the system.
Cross Agency Services: see Configuring Cross Agency Services.
Program Type: the type of program (HMIS Data Element 2.02).
Program Applicability: used for reporting purposes and should match the Program Type.
Continuum Project: whether the program is in the Continuum of Care or not (HMIS Data Element 2.02).
Use Persistent Inventory Calculated Records: toggle on to collect Inventory for a Program using Clarity's Housing Inventory function; toggle off to collect inventory directly through the Program. Refer to our Options on Collecting Inventory article for additional information.
Site Primary Location: the location of the program. See Program Configuration: Sites. This will populate the Sites section when the program is saved.
Target Population: the target population of the program (HMIS Data Elements 2.02).
Method of Tracking: the method by which the program tracks emergency shelter utilization(Entry/Exit or Night-by-Night). This field only appears when configuring a program with "Emergency Shelter" selected as the Program Type (HMIS Data Elements 2.02).
- Entry/Exit Method: shelters requiring an entry, a continuous stay, and an exit. The length of stay is calculated based on the number of nights between program entry and program exit and performance will include changes from program entry and program exit data collection stages. Funder preference for emergency shelter programs is the program entry/exit date method, except for programs where clients are permitted to enter and exit on an irregular basis.
- Night-by-Night Method: shelters that allow clients to enter and exit on an irregular basis and do not require a continuous stay and must instead rely on tracking bed nights. In this method: (1) all data required to be collected at program entry is collected; (2) the program records every discrete date or series of dates that the client utilizes a bed; (3) the system maintains historical data on the nights sheltered; (4) the duration of each stay can be accurately determined and aggregated to calculate each client’s total length of stay in the program; and (5) the client may be exited, or the system may be designed to automatically generate an exit after an extended absence. Length of stay is calculated on bed nights used in this method. Using the night-by-night method does not mean that the HMIS must identify a client in a specific bed.
Housing Type: the type of location where housing is provided (if applicable) (HMIS Data Element 2.02).
Geocode: The geocode for the primary location. Geocodes are updated annually and available on the HUD Exchange. Mobile programs (e.g., street outreach) should record the geocode based on the location of their administrative office. Scattered-site housing programs should record the geocode where most beds are located or where most beds are located as of the last inventory update (HMIS Data Elements 2.03).
HMIS Participating Project: if the program participates in HMIS (HMIS Data Elements 2.02).
Continuum of Care: select the appropriate Continuum(s) of Care. System Administrators maintain Continuum of Care information in System Variables (HMIS Data Elements 2.03).
Public Listing: if "Public," staff members at other agencies can refer clients to the program. If "Agency," staff members at the agency can refer clients to the program. If "None," no one can refer clients to the program.
Goals: enabling Program Goals will allow you to add goals for the program. When toggled on, after the program is saved, the Default Goals section will display for the program. For more information, see Program Goals.
Auto Service Placement: toggling on will allow Auto Service Placement, which means the client is automatically provided specified services upon enrollment. For more information, see Program Auto Service Placements.
Eligibility: enables or disables the ability to add criteria for program enrollment. If you enable Program Eligibility and then save the program, a Program Eligibility section will be available for you to add criteria. Please refer to Program Setup: Eligibility for more information. If you are using the Housing Inventory functionality, refer to our Inventory and Eligibility article as well.
Link from History: This allows the user to link services listed in the client record History tab to an enrollment for the Program. For more information, see Linking Service Items to Program Enrollments.
Program Assessments: this enables the ability to conduct assessments within a program enrollment. Toggling this on will display the Program Assessments section when the program is saved. Clicking "Add Assessment" displays a list of assessments that have been enabled, regardless of whether an agency otherwise has access to create that assessment.
Note that an agency manager may add an assessment to the Program, but a system administrator must configure the Assessment Screen itself.
Program Notes: This allows the user to document and share (according to sharing settings and access roles) client notes within the program enrollment.
Program Files: This allows the user to upload, view, and manage files within the program enrollment.
Program Charts: provides a visual tracking system of specified variables over time. If enabled, the Chart Fields section will display when the program is saved. For more information, see Program Chart Fields.
Aging into Adulthood Notification: This allows System Administrators and Agency Managers to select the timeframe for how soon before a client’s 18th birthday the user will see a banner, email, and inbox notification that a client is about to age into adulthood. To make this selection, set the Aging into Adulthood toggle ON, and then select the threshold from the Threshold of picklist.
Auto Exit Due to Inactivity: if enabled, the Exit Screen Fields section will display when the program is saved. For more information on the Auto Exit settings, see Program Setup: Automatic Exits.
Cascade Enrollment Data: allows client data entered in the program's enrollment screen to pre-fill other screens in the client record based on whether the enrollment was created within X days from the current date (Threshold of).
- Data only cascades between matching fields.
- In cases where multiple assessments or program enrollments exist, data will cascade from the most recent.
Cascade Assessment Data: allows client data entered in the program's assessment screen to pre-fill other screens in the client record based on whether the enrollment was created within X days from the current date (Threshold of).
- To cascade data from the assessment screen, you should add the data to the Cascade Assessment section of the program.
- Enabling Cascading Assessment Data will result in data cascading between program enrollments and assessments, based on whichever was created first. If a user creates an assessment first, data from the assessment will cascade into the program enrollment form the next time a new program enrollment is created. If the program enrollment is created first, data will cascade into the assessment the next time a new assessment screen is opened.
In cases where both enrollment data and assessment data are enabled to cascade, and both program and assessment data are eligible to cascade, data will cascade as follows:
- Program Enrollment is first cascaded.
- If there is an assessment AFTER the cascaded enrollment that is being cascaded, that assessment will be reviewed for more recent data and will update those specific fields.
Close Services Upon Exit: the system will add an end date to services associated with an enrollment at exit.
Enrollment Age Warning: This feature is intended to reduce the number of individual enrollments for clients under a certain age. When enabled, a warning will display when a user attempts to save an individual enrollment for a client whose age is lower than the age threshold.
Enable All Client Forms: For information on enabling forms, see Enabling Forms for Agencies and Programs.
Bed & Unit Inventory: If the Persistent Inventory Calculated Records option (described earlier) is toggled off, a section for bed and unit inventory will be available after you save a residential program. This section, accessed by selecting Bed and Unit Inventory Information from the Program Resources sidebar, contains the following fields:
- Inventory Start Date: date the inventory first became available.
- Inventory End Date: date the availability ended. It may be left null.
- Continuum of Care: the CoC where the beds are located.
- Household Type: the household type this bed inventory will serve
- Bed Type: facility-based, voucher-based, other.
- Availability: year-round, seasonal, etc.
- Youth-Veterans: beds dedicated to youth-veterans.
- Any Other Veteran: beds dedicated to any other veteran.
- Any Other Youth: beds dedicated to any other youth.
- Non-Dedicated Beds: non-dedicated beds.
- Total Bed Inventory: calculated number based on dedicated and non-dedicated beds.
- Total Unit Inventory: number of rooms/apartments/units where the beds are located.
You may add multiple bed inventories as long as the inventories with the same CoC, Household Type, and Availability do not have overlapping dates.
If you change the project type for a Program that has Bed & Unit Inventory, you will see a pop-up notification that the current date will be applied as the end date for all active inventory records associated with that Program. Recommended practice is to create a new Program if the project type changes. However, this update will mitigate inventory issues when a project type is modified for an existing Program.
To better understand the connection between program/bed inventory set up and HMIS Federal reporting, refer to HMIS Bed Inventories, Occupancy, and Reporting.
At the bottom of the screen, links to the Enrollment Screen, Status Screen, Exit Screen, Follow-up Screen, and Program Setup Screen are displayed to allow System Administrators to quickly open the screens being used by the current Program Template. These links are only visible to users with the default System Administrator Access Role.
Documentation Requirements: after you save a Program, the Documentation Requirements section will display. For more information, see Program Documentation Requirements.
Assigning Responsible Staff Members
The system will send certain notifications to staff members assigned as Responsible Staff Members to a program. To assign a staff member as a Responsible Staff Member, select Responsible Staff Members from the Program Resources sidebar and then select "Add Staff." To locate a staff member, type the staff member's name, username, or email in the search area. Applicable staff members will display as options. Choose the appropriate staff member and click the Add button.
Assigning Funding Sources to Programs
There are two ways to assign funding sources to a program: assigning a previously created funding source within the program’s configuration or creating a new funding source when creating a new program.
When creating a new program, select an initial funding source from the Funding Source field picklist. If the existing funding sources do not apply, navigate to the bottom of the picklist options and select the Create New Funding Source option.
This option allows you to create a new funding source from within the program configuration page. Selecting this option displays a Create a New Funding Source pop-up. After clicking ADD, the system creates the new funding source and applies it to the Program.
To complete the funding source record after creating the Program, navigate to the Funding tab, locate the funding source, and complete the data entry.
To add an already created funding source, either select it from the drop-down menu at Program creation or add it to the Funding Sources section after saving.
Once you have saved a Program, you can add existing funding sources through the Funding Sources section of the Program Resources sidebar.
Adding a Community Queue to a Program
Adding a Queue(s) to a Program allows switching between added Queues within Search > Referrals > Availability.
To add a Community Queue to a Program, follow these steps: Manage > Programs > Community Queues > Add Community Queue.
|Note: All Newly Created Programs will have a Queue connected; most often, the Queue is named Default.|
|Note: If a Program is connected to all available Queues, the Add Community Queue option will no longer be visible.|
To delete a Queue from a Program Manage > Program > Community Queues > click on the trash can.
For more information about the Availablity tab, please read Referrals: The Availability Tab.
Restoring Deleted Programs
You can restore deleted Programs using Recover deleted data.
Toggle on the Program(s) you would like to restore and click Restore.