Private Organization Accreditation

Catholic Charities alleviates human suffering and improves the quality of life of 100,000 people annually, regardless of religious background. A staff of 600 provides support and services related to housing, food, mental health, children's services, addiction treatment, and domestic violence services.


Catholic Charities, Diocese of Covington

Wm. R. (Bill) Jones, ACSW, MDiv, Chief Executive Officer

Catholic Charities in Covington has been COA accredited since 1996. Though the time spent in completing the self study and hosting the site visit can sometimes feel sometimes daunting, the rewards far outweigh the effort. In our agency, the self-study is a group process that involves every member of the staff from the CEO to the building maintenance staff.
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Clients who receive Financial Education and Counselling services learn to solve financial problems and gain personal financial management skills.

CA-FEC 1: Service Initiation

Clients participate in an individualized assessment to determine a customized course of service for their financial situation.

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
    • Screening, intake, and assessment procedures
    • Procedures for telephone or internet counselling
    • Procedures regarding DMP initiation
    • A description of service initiation
No On-Site Evidence
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel
    • Review client files

  • CA-FEC 1.01

    Prompt, responsive screening practices:

    1. ensure equitable treatment; and
    2. support timely initiation of services.

  • CA-FEC 1.02

    The organization:

    1. documents authorization from the consumer permitting the organization to provide services via the telephone or Internet; and /or
    2. has a process for ensuring confidentiality and verifying consumer identity.

    Interpretation: Prior to responding to information requests, the client must provide proper identification information such as a password, account number, or social insurance number.

    NA The organization only provides in-person services.

  • CA-FEC 1.03

    The organization does not deny consumers access to services.

    Interpretation: Services cannot be denied for any reason, including the need for counselling without a DMP, unemployment, self-employment, or types of debt.

  • CA-FEC 1.04

    Assessments conducted during the initial counselling session include:

    1. a preliminary evaluation of the request for service and client goals;
    2. an evaluation of income, expenses, assets and liabilities, as appropriate; and
    3. determination of the need for related service referrals when the person cannot be served, or cannot be served promptly.

    Interpretation: Assessments are completed within timeframes established by the organization.

  • CA-FEC 1.05

    Assessments are responsive to cultural factors brought to the attention of the counselour and identify resources that can increase service participation and support the achievement of agreed upon goals.

    Interpretation: Cultural factors may include geographic location, language of choice, and the person’s religious, racial, ethnic, and cultural background. Other important factors that contribute to a responsive assessment may include attention to age, sexual orientation, and developmental level.

  • CA-FEC 1.06

    Assessments include a review of the client’s housing status, including an affordability analysis and any potential threats to safe and adequate housing.

    Interpretation: When housing costs represent a substantial portion of the client’s net income; when housing is threatened due to rent, mortgage, property tax, and/or utility delinquencies; or when other conditions exist that threaten the client’s housing status, the organization provides appropriate housing counselling and education and/or provides referrals to other organizations within the client’s community that provide appropriate housing counselling and education services.

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