WHO IS ACCREDITED?

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 TESTIMONIAL

Rochelle Haimes, ACSW

Volunteer Roles: Commissioner; Peer Reviewer; Standards Panel Member; Team Leader

Rochelle is a Consultant working with a variety of private organizations to become accredited. Her primary area of expertise is in facilitating the development of PQI systems and activities. Her previous experience with both small and large organizations is the cornerstone for her long-standing volunteer activities as a Peer reviewer and as a Team Leader.
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Purpose

The for-profit organization ensures accountability through effective administration and management, and sound financial management practices that are in accord with legal and regulatory requirements.

AFM 2: Community Involvement and Advocacy

The organization informs the public of its purpose, remains informed about community needs and strengths, and advocates for comprehensive and coordinated service delivery within its community.

Interpretation: The standards in AFM 2 describe a variety of activities related to the organization’s role within the community, including outreach and education, participation in community-wide advocacy efforts, and advocacy on behalf of service recipients who need help navigating the system. Given the broad range of activities outlined in AFM 2, activities conducted by “the organization” are the responsibility of the owner, CEO, management, stakeholder advisory group, direct service personnel, and/or other personnel, as appropriate to the activity and their role.

Rating Indicators
1
The organization's practices fully meet the standard, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the AFM 2 Practice standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the AFM 2 Practice standards.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the AFM 2 Practice standards.
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the AFM 2 Practice standards.

Table of Evidence

Self-Study Evidence On-Site Evidence On-Site Activities
    • Stakeholder advisory group procedures (AFM 2.04)
    • Provide PSAs/newspaper articles, or other significant uses of social media within the past two years (AFM 2.01)
    • Documentation of participation in community advocacy efforts (AFM 2.02)
    • Minutes of stakeholders advisory group meetings/agendas/meeting schedule (AFM 2.04)
    • Interview:
      1. Owner
      2. CEO or designee
      3. Program directors
      4. Direct service staff

  • AFM 2.01

    The organization conducts ongoing community outreach and education to: 

    1. communicate its purpose, role, functions, capacities, and scope of services; 
    2. provide information about the strengths, needs, and challenges of the individuals, families, and groups it serves; and
    3. build community support and presence and maintain effective partnerships.

    NA The organization is a network management entity in which all points of contact with the network are made through network providers.

    Rating Indicators
    1
    The organization's practices reflect full implementation of the standard.
    2
    Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement; e.g.,
    • One of the elements is not fully addressed; or
    • The organization has an ongoing program of community education, but it does not cover one of its programs or services.
    3
    Community outreach and education efforts need significant improvement; e.g.,
    • Efforts are informal and infrequent; or
    • Only address some the organizations programs or services, or populations served; or
    • Written materials and/or website is out of date with incorrect information; or
    • Element (a) or (b) are not addressed at all.
    4
    Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.

  • AFM 2.02

    The organization collaborates with community members and service recipients to advocate for issues of mutual concern consistent with the organization’s purpose, such as: 

    1. improvements to existing services; 
    2. filling gaps in service; 
    3. the full and appropriate implementation of applicable laws and regulations regarding issues concerning the service population; 
    4. improved supports and accommodations for individuals with special needs; and 
    5. service coordination. 

    Interpretation: The standard requires the organization to actively advocate and work for the provision of a full array of community services, and to provide personnel with time to carry out advocacy activities. Advocacy activities comply with the legal and regulatory requirements governing such activities.

    The organization can work at several levels to advocate with, and on behalf of, persons, groups, and families served.  

    Direct service personnel can advocate with persons and families served to solve problems related to their individual cases. 

    Advisory board members, management, and other personnel, along with persons served, can engage in legislative and other system-wide advocacy activities. They also work collaboratively with other community organizations to monitor federal, state or provincial, and/or local activity that impacts the service population. 

    Research Note: The following are commonly cited barriers to service coordination: conflicting goals between organizations, inconsistent screening tools, use of disparate interventions, no incentives for coordination and confidentiality concerns. By partnering with community stakeholders, organizations can effectively address these barriers, improve continuity of care and eliminate unintended consequences of fragmented care. 

    Rating Indicators
    1
    The organization's practices reflect full implementation of the standard.
    2
    Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement; e.g.,
    • One of the elements is not addressed at all.
    3
    Practice requires significant improvement; e.g.,
    • Two of the elements are not addressed at all.
    4
    Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all; e.g.,
    • Little effort or no effort is made to collaborate with community members or service recipients as described in the standard.

  • AFM 2.03

    The organization works in active partnership with service recipients to:

    1. ensure that they receive appropriate advocacy support;
    2. assist them to gain access to the full array of services to which they are eligible; and
    3. mediate barriers to services within the service delivery system.

    Interpretation: This standard requires that staff understand the services provided by other community providers and that staff advocate and intervene when service recipients are not receiving access to needed services. 

    Rating Indicators
    1
    The organization's practices reflect full implementation of the standard.
    2
    Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement; e.g., 
    • Staff work with service recipients to obtain needed services in most but not all of the organization's programs; or
    • The standard is being met in practice but expectations need to be formalized to ensure consistency.
    3
    Practice requires significant improvement; e.g., 
    • Staff in more than half of the organization's programs do not work with service recipients to obtain needed services.
    4
    Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.

  • AFM 2.04

    The organization maintains a stakeholder advisory group that serves as a bridge between the organization and the community, and that:

    1. includes representatives of relevant community groups, consumers, parents, service providers, advocates, and others with an interest in the success of the organization achieving its mission or purpose; and 
    2. provides information and feedback to the organization about services, outcomes, the perception of the agency within the community, and other information that would help the organization better serve its defined population and the community.

    Interpretation: In order for advisory groups to function well the organization should:

    1. establish clear and transparent recruitment and selection guidelines;
    2. have reasonable expectations about what the group can accomplish within the parameters of its mission and available resources; and
    3. actively consider and respond to the group’s input, feedback, or recommendations.

    Rating Indicators
    1
    The organization's practices reflect full implementation of the standard.
    2
    The role and functions of the stakeholder advisory group has been defined and the group is effective, but there is room for improvement, e.g.,
    • The group is not utilized to the extent that it could be; or
    • Advisory group members report a need for better communication or lack of clear objectives or timeframes.
    3
    Practice requires significant improvement; e.g.,
    • Advisory group members report being confused about the purpose of the group and/or about their roles and functions; or
    • Insufficient community representation results in limited effectiveness; or
    • Group members do not know whether or not their feedback or recommendations are being used or considered.
    4
    The standard has not been implemented and little or no progress has been made toward implementation.
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