WHO IS ACCREDITED?

Private Organization Accreditation

Family Services of Southeast Texas strengthens families through accessible, affordable counseling services and education for issues affecting family life, mental health and employment.  We also provide comprehensive domestic violence shelter and support services.
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ORGANIZATION TESTIMONIAL

Joint Base Charleston School Age Program

Paula B. Matthews, School Age Program Coordinator

Preparing for our after school accreditation was an awesome and very valuable learning experience for the Child and Youth Professionals at Charleston Air Force Base. Becoming familiar with and understanding the After School standards was a breeze because of the training webinars and the great customer service we received from all of the COA staff. Thank you for supporting our military families.
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Purpose

Adoption programs establish permanent family relationships for children in need of permanency, and increase the well-being, functioning, and stability of children, birth parents, adoptive families, and adopted individuals.

AS 2: Personnel

Program personnel have the competency and support needed to provide services.

Interpretation: Competency can be demonstrated through a combination of education, training, and experience. Support can be provided through supervision or other learning activities to improve understanding or skill development in specific areas.

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
    • Table of contents of training curricula
    • Training and/or informational materials for staff about applicable notice and consent requirements for each state in which the agency is licensed to provide adoption services
    • Procedures or criteria used for assigning and evaluating workload
    • Job descriptions
    • Documentation of training
    • Training curricula
    • Data describing staff turnover
    • Caseload size requirements set by regulation, contract, or by the organization
    • Documentation of current caseload size per worker
    • Interviews may include:
      1. Supervisors
      2. Personnel
    • Review personnel files

  • AS 2.01

    Adoption workers who provide adoption-related services that require the application of clinical skills and judgement meet applicable State or Federal requirements and are qualified by:

    1. an advanced degree from an accredited program of social work or a comparable human service field;
    2. a bachelor’s degree from an accredited program of social work; or
    3. a combination of a bachelor’s degree in any field and prior experience in family and children’s services, adoption, or intercountry adoption.

    Interpretation: When a new worker providing clinical services does not have direct experience in adoption, they receive support and/or supervision or have access for consultation with someone who does have direct experience in adoption until they gain a sufficient amount of experience.

    Interpretation: Examples of services that some programs provide that require the application of clinical skills and judgment include, but are not limited to:

    1. home studies;
    2. child background studies;
    3. clinical counseling;
    4. obtaining consents;
    5. preparation and training;
    6. making clinical decisions such as approval of home studies, matching, etc.;
    7. post-placement monitoring and post-placement reports;
    8. crisis intervention; and
    9. therapeutic interventions.
    Examples of services that may not require the application of clinical skills and judgement include, but are not limited to:
    1. preparation of profiles or dossiers for prospective adoptive parents;
    2. provision of information or training on non-clinical topics such as the legal process for adoption, planning travel for international or interstate adoptions, etc.; and
    3. notarizing documents.


  • AS 2.02

    Supervisors are qualified by at least two years of prior experience in adoption, intercountry adoption, or family and children’s services and either:

    1. an advanced degree from an accredited program of social work; or
    2. an advanced degree from an accredited program in a related human service field.

  • AS 2.03

    The program provides employees who provide adoption-related services that require the application of clinical skills and judgment, and others as needed based on their job responsibilities with training on:

    1. state, federal and foreign laws and regulations governing the types of services provided by the program;
    2. ethical considerations in adoption and applicable professional and ethical guidelines;
    3. issues relating to race, ethnicity, religion, culture, tribal affiliation and language and culturally competent services;
    4. factors that lead to children needing adoptive families;
    5. feelings of separation, grief, and loss which may be experienced prior to, during and after adoption by children, birth parents, adults who were adopted, and previously by some prospective adoptive parents;
    6. trauma experienced by children and youth who have been victims of abuse, neglect, or trafficking;
    7. common medical, psychological and developmental issues commonly experienced by children adopted through the program;
    8. the short and long term impact of out of home care and institutionalization on children and youth;
    9. ways in which adoption can affect child, adolescent and adult development and identity formation; and
    10. maintaining connections, openness in adoption, and attachment and bonding.

    Interpretation: Ethical considerations in adoption can include:

    1. preventing child buying, trafficking, and undue influence on birth parents;
    2. making decisions when the preferences and needs of the parties to the adoption differ; and
    3. limitations on eligibility and related professiona, personal, and organizational values and beliefs.

    Interpretation:  Some training topics/competencies may not be relevant to all programs and programs may customize their training/competency requirements based on their program model.  The program exempts employees from elements of their training/competency requirements only where the employee has demonstrated competence with the topic.


  • FP
    AS 2.04

    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.

    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 2.05

    Adoption workers who work with birth parents or have responsibilities relating to provision of required notices, obtaining consents, or legal proceedings are knowledgeable about:

    1. requirements and processes for the proper identification of all parties whose consent is required;
    2. requirements and processes for providing appropriate notice to all parties who must receive notice or whose consent is required;
    3. preventing undue pressure or coercion on parties whose consent is required, and what steps to take if it appears as if undue pressure or coercion have been exerted;
    4. inappropriate financial incentives or influence; and
    5. determination of jurisdiction and jurisdictional issues that could impact on the adoption.

    NA Program staff do not work with birth parents and do not have responsibilities for providing notice of an adoption plan, or obtaining consents.


  • AS 2.06

    The program ensures that employees who provide adoption-related services that require the application of clinical skills and judgment complete ongoing professional development training on adoption related topics in accordance with applicable agency, state, and federal requirements.

    Interpretation: The Intercountry Adoption Act regulations require no less than thirty hours of professional development training every two years.
     

    NA Program staff do not work with birth parents and do not have responsibilities for providing notice of an adoption plan, or obtaining consents.


  • AS 2.07

    Employee workloads support the achievement of client outcomes and are regularly reviewed.

    Interpretation: Examples of factors that may be considered when determining employee workloads include, but are not limited to:

    1. the qualifications, competencies, and experience of the worker, including the level of supervision needed;
    2. the scope of services being provided including the work and time required to accomplish assigned tasks and job responsibilities; and
    3. service volume, accounting for assessed level of needs of clients at varying stages of the adoption process.

    Note: The evaluation of this standard will focus on whether the assigned workload is manageable for staff. Each organization should determine what caseload size is appropriate, and reviewers will evaluate whether the organization’s designated caseload size reflects a manageable workload taking into consideration whether the organization maintains caseloads of the size it deemed appropriate.

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