WHO IS ACCREDITED?

Private Organization Accreditation

One Hope United offers a range of services aimed at our mission of "Protecting children and strengthening families" including early childhood education, early intervention and prevention, family preservation, foster care, residential, and adoption.
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ORGANIZATION TESTIMONIAL

Domestic Violence Intervention Services, Inc.

Donna Mathews, Associate Director

Becoming accredited and maintaining our accreditation through COA has helped us increase our professionalism and thereby provide better services to domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and dating violence survivors.
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Purpose

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 14: Personnel

Personnel are qualified and receive support to facilitate the development of permanent caring relationships between children and adoptive families.

Note: When the organization is unable to fully implement one or more of the practice standards, intensive efforts should be made to fully implement the other standards. For example, if the organization is unable to recruit workers with specific qualifications, it can ensure that appropriate supervision and workload standards are implemented.

Rating Indicators
1
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.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice standards; e.g., 
  • With some exceptions, staff (direct service providers, supervisors, and program managers) possess the required qualifications, including: education, experience, training, skills, temperament, etc., but the integrity of the service is not compromised.
    • Supervisors provide additional support and oversight, as needed, to staff without the listed qualifications.
    • Most staff who do not meet educational requirements are seeking to obtain them.
  • With some exceptions staff have received required training, including applicable specialized training.
    • Training curricula are not fully developed or lack depth.
    • A few personnel have not yet received required training.
    • Training documentation is consistently maintained and kept up-to-date with some exceptions.
  • A substantial number of supervisors meet the requirements of the standard, and the organization provides training and/or consultation to improve competencies.
    • Supervisors provide structure and support in relation to service outcomes, organizational culture and staff retention.
  • With a few exceptions caseload sizes are consistently maintained as required by the standards.
  • Workloads are such that staff can effectively accomplish their assigned tasks and provide quality services, and are adjusted as necessary in accord with established workload procedures.
    • Procedures need strengthening.
    • With few exceptions procedures are understood by staff and are being used.
  • With a few exceptions specialized staff are retained as required and possess the required qualifications.
  • Specialized services are obtained as required by the standards.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice standards.  Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • One of the Fundamental Practice Standards received a rating of 3 or 4.
  • A significant number of staff, e.g., direct service providers, supervisors, and program managers, do not possess the required qualifications, including: education, experience, training, skills, temperament, etc.; and as a result the integrity of the service may be compromised.
    • Job descriptions typically do not reflect the requirements of the standards, and/or hiring practices do not document efforts to hire staff with required qualifications when vacancies occur.
    • Supervisors do not typically provide additional support and oversight to staff without the listed qualifications.
  • A significant number of staff have not received required training, including applicable specialized training.
    • Training documentation is poorly maintained.
  • A significant number of supervisors do not meet the requirements of the standard, and the organization makes little effort to provide training and/or consultation to improve competencies.
  • There are numerous instances where caseload sizes exceed the standards' requirements.
  • Workloads are excessive and the integrity of the service may be compromised. 
    • Procedures need significant strengthening; or
    • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Specialized staff are typically not retained as required and/or many do not possess the required qualifications; or
  • Specialized services are infrequently obtained as required by the standards.
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.,

For example:
  • 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
    • Program staffing chart that includes lines of supervision
    • List of program personnel that includes:
      1. name;
      2. title;
      3. degree held and/or other credentials;
      4. FTE or volunteer;
      5. length of service at the organization;
      6. time in current position
    • Chart that specifies caseload size, per worker, for the past six months
    • Procedures or criteria used for assigning and evaluating workload
    • Job descriptions
    • Documentation of training
    • Training curricula
    • Data describing staff turnover
    • Interview:
      1. Supervisors
      2. Personnel
    • Review personnel files

  • AS 14.01

    Adoption workers are qualified by:

    1. an advanced degree in social work or a comparable human service field;
    2. a bachelor’s degree in social work; or
    3. a bachelor’s degree with two years of related experience.

  • AS 14.02

    Supervisors are qualified by an advanced degree in social work or a comparable human service field and two years of experience in working with children and families, preferably in adoption.


  • AS 14.03

    Adoption workers have the competencies to:

    1. facilitate adoptions that meet applicable legal requirements;
    2. conduct assessments and identify children with special needs;
    3. provide support to persons affected by adoption to cope with social and emotional issues;
    4. facilitate adoptions for children with special needs; and
    5. maintain and protect confidential information and assist persons served to access information, as outlined by applicable law.

    Interpretation: Competency can be demonstrated through education, training, or experience.


  • FP
    AS 14.04

    Adoption workers and supervisors, depending on job responsibilities, are knowledgeable about relevant provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) including:

    1. the importance of ICWA and special considerations for working with American Indian and Alaska Native children;
    2. the identification of American Indian and Alaska Native children;
    3. determination of jurisdiction;
    4. appropriate notice and collaboration with the child’s tribe;
    5. placement preferences that support the child’s connection to their native culture and heritage;
    6. process for, and alternatives to, terminating parental rights; and
    7. court procedures.

    Update:

    • Revised Standard - 10/31/17
      AS 14.04 was made a fundamental practice standard. An interpretation was added with additional guidance on ICWA training for personnel. A research note was added with training resources. 

    Interpretation: All adoption personnel should be trained in the basic requirements of ICWA with additional specialized training for staff in specialized service units, such as assessment or permanency planning. Screening personnel must be trained on how to identify children with American Indian or Alaska Native heritage. Workers should also be informed of the cultural norms and historical trauma associated with Indian tribes. 

    Research Note: Training resources on the Indian Child Welfare Act are available from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the National Indian Child Welfare Association, and the California Social Work Education Center.  


  • AS 14.05

    The organization determines the appropriate type of in-service training needed to ensure personnel remain current on adoption trends and practice issues.


  • AS 14.06

    Adoption workers maintain a manageable workload, and cases are assigned according to a system that takes into consideration:

    1. the qualifications and competencies of the worker and the supervisor;
    2. the complexity and status of the case;
    3. services provided by other professionals or team members; and
    4. other organizational responsibilities.

    Interpretation: Case complexity can take into account: intensity of child and family needs and size of the family. Generally, caseloads do not exceed 12-25 families. However, there are circumstances under which caseloads may exceed these limits. For example, caseload size may vary depending upon the volume of administrative case functions (e.g., entering notes, filing, etc.) assigned to the worker. Caseloads may also be higher when organizations are faced with temporary vacancies on staff.

    Note: The evaluation of this standard will focus on whether the assigned workload is manageable for staff, taking into account the factors cited in the standard and interpretation. The specific caseload sizes stated in the interpretation are only a suggestion of what might be appropriate. Each organization should determine what caseload size is appropriate, and reviewers will evaluate: (1) whether the organization’s designated caseload size reflects a manageable workload, and (2) whether the organization maintains caseloads of the size it deemed appropriate.

    Research Note: Research on special needs adoptions suggests that high caseloads can make it difficult to recruit prospective adoptive families, and can delay the processing of homestudies and background checks. Additionally, high caseloads may lead to infrequent contact by adoption workers, which can cause some prospective adoptive parents to seek services from other providers.


  • AS 14.07

    Supervisors or experienced workers provide additional knowledge, skills, and support when personnel are new or are still developing competencies.

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