Monitoring and Oversight
COA conducts the following activities to monitor and oversee the performance of its accredited agencies and approved persons. For more specific information about the Monitoring and Oversight requirements and to access the required forms, please see the Hague Accreditation Policies and Procedures Manual (Section X).
COA requires accredited agencies and approved persons on an ongoing basis to submit reports of significant events, occurrences, and changes.
Semi-Annual Reports on Complaints Received (SARC)
In accordance with 22 CFR Part 96.41 (f), accredited agencies and approved persons are required to submit a semi-annual report that includes a summary of all complaints received pursuant to 22 CFR Part 96.41 (b) during the preceding six months and an assessment of any discernible patterns in complaints received along with information about systemic changes, if any, were made or planned in response to such patterns.
Annual Attestation (AA)
In accordance with 22 CFR Part 96.66 (c), accredited agencies and approved persons are required to annually attest that they have remained in substantial compliance with the standards.
The purpose of COA's complaint investigation is to determine whether complaints are substantiated and if an accredited agency or approved person has maintained substantial compliance with the standards. COA exercises impartiality in collecting and analyzing all available facts pertinent to each investigation.
COA's Description of the Complaint Investigation Procedures is intended to provide a general description of the complaint investigation process. It is not a substitute for the actual accreditation regulations or COA's Hague Accreditation and Approval Policies and Procedures Manual. Questions about COA's complaint investigation process may be directed to COA's Hague Compliance Officer, Special Counsel.
COA must take adverse action when it determines that an accredited agency or approved person may not maintain accreditation or approval because the agency or person has not demonstrated to COA's satisfaction that it is in substantial compliance with the Hague Accreditation Standards.
Substantiated Complaints and Adverse Actions
In accordance with 22 CFR Part 96.91 and 92, COA makes available a report on Substantiated Complaints and Adverse Actions.
COA recognizes that before making a final decision on an adoption service provider many prospective adoptive parents want to know if the program has a history of violations. It's not uncommon for programs to have an occasional state licensing or Hague Accreditation/Approval regulatory violation. However, serious or regular on-going violations are reasons for concern. COA is not authorized to disclose any additional information about complaint(s) or adverse actions. For additional information please contact the adoption service provider directly.
Private Organization Accreditation
Sweetser, a Maine non-profit agency operating since 1828, provides comprehensive mental and behavioral health and substance abuse treatment services. Statewide, it serves around 15,000 consumers a year, including children, adults, and families in outpatient, office-based, and residential settings.
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Volunteer Roles: Evaluator; Lead Evaluator; Peer Reviewer; Team Leader
I have found that being a COA Volunteer builds my professional skills and experience in ways that more traditional workshops do not. The opportunity to learn about best practices through the COA standards and then see how agencies implement them is truly a growth experience.