Private Organization Accreditation

As one of the largest family services agencies in the country, Child & Family Services has dedicated its resources to meet the needs of the community since 1873.


Anita Paukovits

Volunteer Roles: Peer Reviewer

Being a COA peer reviewer has clearly played a role in my professional development and has made me a better administrator at my own agency as a result!  To be part of a professional network that is on the cutting edge of program, practice, fiscal responsibility, and insuring Best Practice across the field is an amazing opportunity.
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Experiential Education provides safe, activity-based opportunities for learning and reflection that support the achievement of identified program outcomes.

CA-EES 2: Activity Requirements

Activities are designed to meet individual needs, build on strengths, develop skills, and promote learning through experience.

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
    • Include description of program activities
    • Criteria for graduating activities to the skills and capabilities of participants
    • Procedures for pacing group activities
    • Material or procedures that address teaching skills progressively
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Individuals or families served
    • Review case records

  • CA-EES 2.01

    The organization plans, adjusts, and graduates experiences to the level of difficulty appropriate for the skill levels and capacities of participants.

  • CA-EES 2.02

    Techniques and skills needed for an activity are taught progressively, and less skilled participants are appropriately supported and supervised.

  • FP
    CA-EES 2.03

    The pace of group activities is based on the capacities of the least able or fit member of the group to prevent accidents or illness.

  • CA-EES 2.04

    The organization does not:

    1. coerce or otherwise force a participant to engage in a specific activity against his or her will; or
    2. deliberately remove reasonable options or alternatives to participation.

    Interpretation: The standard is not to be construed as unreasonably requiring an organization to go through a pro forma verbal agreement for each sub-activity. However, when a participant raises a strong objection, the organization must take it seriously, examine all implications, such as illness or skill level, and offer encouragement to participate, when needed. Organizations will clearly specify in their informed consent procedures whether (1) the program has a “challenge by choice” philosophy; (2) whether participants will be required to complete all or most elements of the experience; or (3) if alternative activities can be used to accomplish the same goals. The person granting informed consent will understand in advance this feature of the program.

  • FP
    CA-EES 2.05

    Participants may be discharged from a specific activity if:

    1. their behaviour or other problems make continuation unsafe or ineffective; or
    2. evacuation from remote locations is deemed necessary for health or mental health reasons.

    Interpretation: Element b will not apply when activities are not conducted in remote locations.

  • CA-EES 2.06

    Participants learn from and integrate their experiences through formal and informal discussions with staff.

    Note: Discussions focused on evaluating individual client needs are recorded in the case record. Discussions regarding group dynamics and environmental concerns are recorded in a guide or therapist log.

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