Private Organization Accreditation

Stillwater-based FamilyMeans provides services in budget and credit counseling, mental health, collaborative divorce, caregiver support, youth programming, and an employee assistance program. 


Holy Family Institute

Sister Linda Yankoski, President/CEO

The Council On Accreditation provides all stakeholders involved in the delivery of social services the assurance that the organization is credible, effective, and is committed to quality improvement. The COA process is an important tool for anyone involved in leading an organization to establish best practices and maintaining and updating these practices over time.
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Individuals and families who participate in Counselling, Support, and Education Services identify and build on strengths, develop skills to manage situational change, access appropriate community support and resources, and improve functioning in daily activities at home, at work, and in the community.

CA-CSE 6: Information and Referral Services

The organization provides information about available community resources and makes referrals or connections as appropriate to the service recipient’s identified needs.

NA The organization does not provide information or referral services.

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 (CA-HR 6.02) and training (CA-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
    • A description of information and referral services
    • Procedures for evaluating and summarizing community needs
    • Crisis response procedures (CA-CSE 6.04)
    • Database of community resources
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel

  • CA-CSE 6.01

    Service recipients are promptly referred or connected to appropriate resources.

    Interpretation: Organizations’ policies and/or procedures should promote referrals to service providers that meet the cultural and linguistic needs of the service population.

  • CA-CSE 6.02

    The organization maintains, or has access to, an up-to-date database of reliable, culturally and linguistically responsive community resources that includes:

    1. name, location, and telephone number;
    2. contact person;
    3. services offered;
    4. languages offered;
    5. fee structure; and
    6. eligibility requirements.

  • CA-CSE 6.03

    The organization collects and periodically summarizes data on community needs and available resources, and shares summaries with the community.

    Interpretation: Collecting and maintaining demographic data is a way for organizations to regularly assess the cultural and linguistic needs of the community that it serves. 

  • FP
    CA-CSE 6.04

    Written procedures address the provision of information and referral services in crisis situations including:

    1. providing intervention and stablisation;
    2. connecting the individual to more intensive services; and/or
    3. contacting emergency responders as appropriate.

    Interpretation: Crisis situations can include those involving victims of violence, individuals at risk for suicide, medical crises, child endangerment, and other emergency situations. Examples of what may be outlined in crisis response procedures can include, but are not limited to: 

    • protective measures or special precautions related to inquiries from individuals involved in cases of domestic violence or other endangerment situations; 
    • how to address service recipients who wish to remain anonymous yet require direct intervention and stabilization services; 
    • protocols on how to connect service recipients to appropriate formal crisis intervention services or emergency responders; and
    • guidance on mandatory reporting and the disclosure of suspected abuse or other criminal behaviour according to applicable laws. 

    Note: Training personnel on how to respond in emergency situations is addressed in CA-CSE 8.01. 

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