Private Organization Accreditation

White's Residential & Family Services is Indiana's largest social services agency offering accredited and comprehensive residential, foster care, independent living, adoption, and home-based services.


Barry Gourley

Volunteer Roles: Endorser; Peer Reviewer

It is an honor to be a COA volunteer. I’ve had a great opportunity to work with fabulous COA volunteers, I’ve grown professionally in the COA accreditation process and I’ve met some wonderful people across this nation who are working hard to help and support children and families.
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Adoption Services establish a permanent family for children and youth awaiting adoption, and increase the well-being and functioning of birth parents, adoptive families, and adopted individuals.

AS 13: Administrative Practice

Administrative practices are ethical, professional, and respect the rights of all parties involved in the adoption.

Rating Indicators
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice standards.
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted, however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations (HR 6.02) and training (TS 2.03); or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • A number of client records are missing important information  or
  • Client participation is inconsistent; or
  • One of the Fundamental Practice Standards received a rating of 3 or 4.
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing; or  
  • Two or more Fundamental Practice Standards received a rating of 3 or 4.

Table of Evidence

Self-Study Evidence On-Site Evidence On-Site Activities
    • Fee policy and procedures
    • Fee scale
    • Record retention procedures
    • Procedures for releasing information
    • Board minutes documenting the review and approval of the fee policy
    • Documentation of licensure or credentials of collaborating organizations or individuals
    • Service agreements and contracts
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Adoptive parents
    • Observe record storage area
    • Review financial records of fees paid by adoptive parents

  • AS 13.01

    Fees are fair, reasonable, and based on costs associated with service delivery, and parents are only charged for services provided.

    Interpretation: Practices are developed to protect the interests of prospective adoptive parents if the organization closes the adoption program. One example of such a practice is to place funds collected prior to the delivery of a service in a separate account, and provide an accounting of disbursements to parents.

    NA The organization does not charge fees for adoption services.

  • AS 13.02

    When reviewing and approving the organization’s adoption fee policy, the governing body considers ethical issues associated with charging adoption fees, including:

    1. the influence fees can have on decision-making about child relinquishment and matching; and
    2. the psychological impact fees can have on birth parents, adoptive parents, and adopted individuals.

    NA The organization does not charge fees for adoption services.

  • AS 13.03

    The organization, its personnel, and independent contractors do not accept or provide financial or other consideration beyond reimbursement for services.

    Interpretation: The organization must demonstrate thoughtfully developed, fully implemented policies that ensure that professional decision-making is separate from financial considerations, and that all actions have a sound ethical and professional basis. Prospective adoptive parents interested in making donations can be advised to do so after the adoption has been finalized.

  • AS 13.04

    When the organization collaborates with other organizations or individuals to deliver services:

    1. providers are licensed or appropriately credentialed, according to applicable regulations;
    2. service agreements or contracts are written;
    3. prospective adoptive parents are made aware of the relationship between providers; and
    4. the quality of services is monitored.

    NA The organization does not collaborate with other providers.

  • AS 13.05

    Records are retained for the period required by applicable law or, in the absence of such law, for at least 99 years, and the organization has a plan for transfer of records if the adoption program is closed.

  • AS 13.06

    All releases of identifying information about adopted persons, birth parents, and adoptive families are in accordance with individual preferences and applicable regulation.

    Interpretation: In cases where an individual waives confidentiality, informed consent is obtained in the form of a notarized affidavit before any contact or exchange of identifying information occurs.

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