High-quality home care should be universal, no matter where it is being delivered, who is delivering it or who is receiving it. Recognizing the limitations of the Canada Health Act—home care is not an insured service—our members identified a need to outline national principles for home care. As a result, we created the Harmonized Principles for Home Care after an extensive engagement and consultation process.

The Harmonized Home Care Principles outline the fundamentals of home care programs without prescribing how services are funded, administered or delivered. Broadly endorsed by governments, administrators and providers of home and community care, the principles provide a framework to link policy, programming and frontline service delivery. The result is the delivery of consistent, high-quality services within and across jurisdictions. The principles align with and reinforce operational quality standards such as the Health Standards Organization’s (HSO) Home Care Services and Home Support Services Standards and CARF Canada’s Aging Services Standards.



Patients and their caregivers are at the centre of the planning and delivery of care.


Patients and their carers have equitable and consistent access to appropriate care.


Patient, provider and system outcomes are managed, met and reported.


Patients receive care that is informed by clinical expertise, personal values and best available research evidence.


Patients’ needs are met through coordinated clinical and service-level planning and delivery involving multiple health and social care providers and organizations.


Patients whose needs can reasonably be met in the home will receive the services and support to do so.

Quick Facts

350 stakeholders
provided input into the creation of the principles

4 provinces
(BC, ON, MB, PEI) have legislation that defines and governs the provision of home care services
CHCA Portraits of Home Care, 2013

In 1978 or later
Most publicly funded home care programs were established

2.2 million Canadians
rely on help or care at home to cope with a long-term health condition, a disability or age-related needs.
Statistics Canada, 2014


Home Care Lens Tool

These practical tools support the development of policies and services for integrated home and community-based care. The Policy Lens supports policy and system planning and the Services Lens targets operational and frontline considerations. Download the tools

A framework for principle-based home care standards

This framework describes the key strategies, actions and questions for each of the six Harmonized Home Care Principles that should be addressed in the development of principle-based home care standards. Download the standards

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