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.


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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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 8: Temporary Care for Infants

Foster parents provide temporary care that ensures the health and safety of infants awaiting adoption.


  • Revised Standard - 10/31/17
    The interpretation was revised to include notification of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. 

Interpretation: When the case involves an American Indian or Alaska Native child, the tribe or a local Indian organization and the Bureau of Indian Affairs should be notified of the decision to temporarily place an infant awaiting adoption in a foster home.

NA The organization does not provide private, infant adoption services.

NA The organization provides homestudy or post placement services only.

NA The organization provides foster to adopt services only.

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
    • Policy and procedures for licensure, approval, or certification of homes
    • Procedures for foster home assessments, including criminal background checks
    • Procedures for visits to foster homes
    • A description of healthcare services
    • Training curricula
    • Interview:
      1. Relevant personnel
      2. Foster parents
    • Review case records
    • Review foster parent records

  • AS 8.01

    Foster homes are licensed, approved, or certified according to state, tribal, or local regulation.

  • AS 8.02

    Criminal background and child abuse registry checks are conducted for all adults in the home prior to placement, in accordance with applicable federal and state requirements.

  • AS 8.03

    The home is assessed prior to placement to identify and address any safety concerns.

  • AS 8.04

    The organization coordinates needed healthcare services for the infant, and foster parents are trained to respond to the medical needs of the infant.

  • AS 8.05

    The adoption worker visits the foster parents within the first two weeks of placement and at least once a month to evaluate safety and needs.

  • AS 8.06

    The organization determines the appropriate amount of pre-service and in-service education necessary to ensure that foster parents understand:

    1. the organization’s mission, philosophy, goals, and services;
    2. rights and responsibilities;
    3. specific duties;
    4. reimbursement for services;
    5. complaint procedures; and
    6. circumstances that will result in closing a home.

    Interpretation: The organization may consider the current experience, knowledge, and skills of each foster parent when determining the appropriate amount of training required.

  • AS 8.07

    Each foster family develops or uses the organization’s protocols for responding to emergencies, including accidents, serious illness, fire, and natural disasters.

  • FP
    AS 8.08

    Foster parents who transport infants in their own vehicles:

    1. use age-appropriate passenger restraint systems;
    2. properly maintain vehicles and obtain required registration and inspection;
    3. provide the organization with validation of their driving records; and
    4. provide the organization with regular validation of their licenses and appropriate insurance coverage.

    Interpretation: Regarding element (d), this information should be provided as frequently as necessary, based on the amount of time licenses and insurance are valid. For example, if licenses are valid for two years, license validation can occur every two years. Regarding validation of appropriate insurance coverage, it is suggested that the organization maintain a copy of each foster parent’s auto policy declaration.

    Note: In some cases this standard may not be applicable to all foster parents (e.g., if foster parents live in urban areas and utilize public transportation instead of private vehicles).

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