WHO IS ACCREDITED?

Private Organization Accreditation

Children's Home Society of Florida delivers a unique spectrum of social services designed to protect children at risk of abuse, neglect or abandonment; to strengthen and stabilize families; to help young people break the cycle of abuse and neglect; and to find safe, loving homes for children.
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ORGANIZATION TESTIMONIAL

ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions

Tim Spearin, Vice President, Quality Assurance

ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions has been accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) since 1996.  Reaccreditation attests that a member organization continues to meet the highest national operating standards as set by the COA.  It also provides assurance that ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions is performing services which the community needs, conducting its operations and funds successfully.
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Purpose

The organization’s administrative and service environments are respectful, caring, safe, and accessible, and contribute to organizational productivity and effective service delivery.

FOC
CA-ASE 6: Safety and Security

The organization ensures the safety of its premises, personnel, service recipients, and visitors.

Update:

  • Revised Evidence - 03/15/17
    Procedures for promoting the physical, psychological, and emotional health and safety of service recipients replaces procedures for serving perpetrators. Service recipient interviews were added to the on-site activities. 
Rating Indicators
1
The organization's practices fully meet the standard, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the CA-ASE 6 Practice standards; health or safety concerns are promptly addressed.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the CA-ASE 6 Practice standards.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the CA-ASE 6 Practice standards; and/or 
  • One of the CA-ASE 6 Fundamental Practice Standards received a 3 or 4 rating.
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the CA-ASE 6 Practice standards; and/or 
  • At least two of the CA-ASE 6 Fundamental Practice Standards received a 3 or 4 rating.

Table of Evidence

Self-Study Evidence On-Site Evidence On-Site Activities
    • Pertinent safety procedures and protocols
    • Procedures for vehicle use (CA-ASE 6.03)
    • Procedures for promoting the physical, psychological, and emotional health and safety of service recipients (ASE 6.04)
    • Protocols for preventing and responding to missing and runaway children, youth, and persons with developmental disabilities.
    • Motor vehicle insurance coverage expectations
    • Training documentation
    • Fire drills logs
    • Copies of licenses, driving records, and insurance documentation
    • Contracts, including safety expectations, with any outside transportation providers
    • Construction permits, as applicable (CA-ASE 6.05)
    • Interview:
      1. Relevant personnel
      2. Service recipients
    • Observe vehicles
    • Observe facilities

  • FP
    CA-ASE 6.01

    The organization assesses its safety and security needs and:

    1. takes appropriate measures to protect the safety of all persons who are in its facilities or on its grounds;
    2. develops safety and communication protocols for staff that work off-site, as applicable;
    3. trains staff on potential risks they may encounter on-site, in the community, or in clients’ homes;
    4. trains staff on self-protection techniques, as necessary; and
    5. has security systems to deter facility break-ins.

    Interpretation: Such measures can include bars on windows and alarm systems, and written policies prohibiting the possession of weapons on the facilities premises except by qualified security and law enforcement personnel. Staff safety measures should include protocols for staff that work off-site, and methods for maintaining contact with them. Working “off-site” is also commonly known as working “in the field.” Additionally, the standard requires the organization to have a readily accessible telephone in each major service area.

    Note: Element d does not apply to credit counseling organizations.

    Rating Indicators
    1
    The organization regularly assesses the safety and security of its facilities and grounds as per the requirements of the standard.
    2
    Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement; e.g., 
    • Some non-critical recommendations of the safety assessment have not been addressed; or
    • Safety and communication protocols for off-site workers lack clarity or are somewhat outdated; or
    • The training curriculum is less fully developed or lacks depth in some areas; or
    • Some personnel, such as new hires, are not yet trained.
    3
    Practice requires significant improvement; e.g.,
    • The organization's approach to assessing safety and security of its facilities and grounds is inconsistent across programs and sites or not thorough, and as a result, appropriate measures are not in place, e.g., staff are not notified in advance when maintenance requires shutting off water, or staff report insufficient lighting in parking areas, or areas in need of repair are not cordoned; or
    • Telephones are not readily accessible at a few service-delivery sites; or
    • Communication protocols lack clarity or are outdated; or
    • A number of staff have not yet been trained on risks they may encounter while working, or on self-protection techniques, or  the training curriculum is limited in scope, and one or more topics listed in the standard are not addressed; or
    • Security systems for deterring break-ins are not in place in at least one site; or
    • Lax maintenance has compromised safety, e.g., non-functioning lighting in some areas has raised staff concerns about safety after dark; or
    • One of the elements has not been implemented.
    4
    Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all; e.g.,
    • The organization’s buildings, grounds and facilities are unsafe; or
    • Two of the elements have not been implemented.

  • FP
    CA-ASE 6.02

    Fire drills are conducted according to legal requirements, and held at least:

    1. during periods of both activity and rest, as appropriate to the program or service;
    2. once a month for every shift in Early Childhood Education (CA-ECE) and Youth Development Services (CA-YD) settings;
    3. once a quarter for every shift in residential or daytime group care settings; and/or
    4. annually for other services and at administrative offices.
    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., 
    • Fire drills are conducted in accord with required timeframes, but drills during rest periods could be done more often; or
    • Procedures are vague or need clarifying, e.g., do not specify fire drill frequency for some non-residential or day programs.
    3
    Practice requires significant improvement; e.g., 
    • Quarterly fire drills are sometimes missed for some shifts, or are rarely conducted at night in residential facilities, or service recipients are not awakened during nighttime drills; or
    • Fire drill logs are poorly maintained or missing in some programs or sites; or
    • The organization has not recently reviewed current legal requirements; or
    • Fire drills are not conducted at some administrative sites.
    4
    Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all; e.g.,
    • The organization rarely conducts drills; or
    • The organization never conducts them during rest periods or at night.

  • FP
    CA-ASE 6.03

    An organization that permits or requires the use of agency- or privately owned vehicles to transport clients requires:
    1. the use of age-appropriate passenger restraint systems; 
    2. adequate passenger supervision, as mandated by statute or regulation; 
    3. proper maintenance of agency-owned vehicles; 
    4. current registration; 
    5. vehicle safety review; 
    6. annual validation of licenses and driving records; and 
    7. motor vehicle insurance.

    Update:

    • Revised Standard - 01/26/17
      This standard now applies solely to organizations that transport clients. 

    Interpretation: This standard applies to vehicles owned by the organization as well as those owned by its personnel, volunteers, and contractors that are used for transporting clients. This standard does not apply to vehicles owned by resource families, which are covered by CA-FKC 17.06 and CA-AS 8.08. Risk associated with using vehicles for job related tasks other than transporting clients, such as home visits, traveling between sites, attending meetings, etc. should be reviewed as part of the organization’s annual risk management review in CA-RPM 2. 

    Interpretation: Regarding element (a), school buses weighing less than 10,000 pounds (4,535 kilograms) should have passenger restraint systems (seatbelts) in place. Transport Canada has determined that buses weighing over 10,000 (4,535 kilograms) meet motor vehicle safety standards because of compartmentalization. Organizations should refer to provincial regulation for further detail. 
     
    Interpretation: In general, children weighing between 40 and 80 pounds (18-36 kilograms), children who are less than 8 years of age, and children who are less than 57 inches tall must be secured in child safety restraint systems (car or booster seats). According to Transport Canada, children under 40 pounds (18 kilograms) should be secured in car or booster seats while on school buses. Please refer to provincial or local regulations for exemptions or more stringent requirements.

    Interpretation: When the organization has a contract with an outside transportation provider, it must include relevant safety expectations in the contract.

    NA The organization does not permit or require transporting clients in agency- or privately-owned vehicles.

    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.,
    • In rare instances routine vehicle maintenance or driver’s license checks are delayed.
    3
    Practice requires significant improvement; e.g., 
    • The process for validating divers licenses or driving records of staff currently using organization-owned vehicles, or who are transporting clients in their own vehicles is backlogged; or
    • Vehicle maintenance, insurance, or other records are poorly maintained resulting in confusion about how well the standard is being implemented.
    4
    Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all; e.g.,
    • One of the elements is not addressed at all.

  • FP
    CA-ASE 6.04

    The organization promotes the physical, psychological, and emotional safety of service recipients by: 

    1. screening service recipients for histories involving violence or trauma;
    2. monitoring the service population for emerging physical, psychological, and emotional safety needs; and
    3. modifying the service environment or procedures as necessary to respond to the safety needs of the population. 

    Update:

    • Revised Standard - 03/15/17
      The standard has been revised to address monitoring and responding to the safety needs of all service recipients. 

    Interpretation: Mechanisms that can be used to respond to the safety needs of the population include:

    • monitoring interactions among service recipients and staff to ensure they remain respectful, calming, and empowering; 
    • establishing and enforcing rules that promote a transparent and therapeutic service environment; and 
    • soliciting and responding to feedback from service recipients regarding their perceived safety in the service environment.
    Interpretation: Organizations that provide services for both survivors of violence or exploitation and individuals with histories of violent behavior in the same facility or grounds must monitor and manage the safety and therapeutic risks associated with interactions between such populations, such as by staggering scheduling and/or providing separate entrances.  

    Research Note: The National Council for Behavioral Health and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration identify a physical environment that promotes a sense of safety and collaboration as one of the key domains for implementing a trauma-informed approach to care, and a fundamental component of service accessibility for service recipients who have experienced trauma.

    NA The organization only provides Financial Education and Counseling services, Early Childhood Education, Youth Development Services, or other services where screening for histories involving violence or trauma would be inappropriate for the service model.  

    Rating Indicators
    1
    The organization regularly assesses for safety risks, responds to safety needs of service recipients, and has implemented procedures for ensuring psychological, emotional, and physical safety as per the requirements of the standard.
    2
    Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement; e.g., 
    • Communications with service recipients about available protections and procedures could be improved at some locations, and the organization is working to address the issue.
    3
    Practice requires significant improvement; e.g.,
    • Safety needs are assessed inconsistently; or
    • Monitoring or managing of interactions at some locations is lax; or
    • Safety risks have been identified but protections are not yet fully in place in at least one program site; or
    • Safety procedures are vague because the organization has not paid sufficient attention to protecting the safety needs of service recipients.
    4
    The organization does not assess safety risks of service recipients with trauma or violence histories and safety needs are not met as required by the standard.

  • FP
    CA-ASE 6.05

    When undertaking building construction, demolition, or renovation, proper controls, as required, reduce risk and minimize impact on the environment, service recipients, and staff.

    NA The organization has not undergone any building construction, demolition, or renovation.

    Rating Indicators
    1
    The organization protects the environment, service recipients and staff by obtaining all required permits, and using qualified, insured professionals when undergoing construction, demolition, or renovation of its facilities or grounds.
    2
    Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement; e.g., 
    • Communication with staff about safety procedures related to construction activities could be improved.
    3
    Practice requires significant improvement; e.g., 
    • Protections are lax regarding preventing access to areas under construction during periods when crews are off-site, or to construction materials or waste; or
    • There are ongoing safety or environmental concerns that have not been discussed with, or addressed by the contractor.
    4
    Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all; e.g.,
    • The organization does not use qualified/certified contractors or obtain all necessary permits; or hazardous conditions have been observed.

  • CA-ASE 6.06

    The organization establishes protocols for preventing and responding to missing and runaway children, youth, and persons with developmental disabilities that address:

    1. creating an environment that provides a sense of safety, support, and community;
    2. identifying risks or triggers that may indicate likeliness to run away from programs;
    3. communication and reporting to relevant staff, authorities, and parents and/or legal guardians;
    4. welcoming, screening, and debriefing when the individual returns to the program.

    Update:

    • Revised Standard - 05/15/17
      The NA was revised to clarify that the standard applies for residential programs serving families with children. An interpretation for programs serving families experiencing homelessness was added. 

    Interpretation: Programs serving families experiencing homelessness should use a family-centered approach to address elements (b) - (d), including:

    1. developing a safety plan and response protocol in collaboration with the family if a risk or safety need is identified for a child/youth;
    2. collaborating closely with the parent(s) in the event a child/youth goes missing or runs away; and
    3. debriefing with the family once the child/youth returns, including revising the safety plan if needed. 

    NA The organization does not provide residential programs that serve children, youth, families with children, or persons with developmental disabilities.

    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., 
    • Procedures for communicating with parents about runaway children need clarification.
    3
    Practice requires significant improvement; e.g., 
    • One of the elements is not fully addressed.
    4
    Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all; e.g.,
    • Two or more of the elements are not fully addressed; or
    • One or more elements is not addressed at all.
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