Private Organization Accreditation

Lutheran Social Services of New England is a high-performing nonprofit organization. LSS is a powerful difference maker and go-to resource, driving ourselves to constantly anticipate futures that are different from the past. For 140 years, LSS has been caring for people in need in New England.


Jane Bonk, Ph.D., LCSW

Volunteer Roles: Commissioner; Evaluator; Lead Evaluator; Peer Reviewer; Team Leader

Dr. Jane Bonk is a team leader, evaluator, and commissioner who has led over 25 site visits for COA.
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Children in Family Foster Care and Kinship Care live in safe, stable, nurturing, and typically temporary family settings that best provide the continuity of care to preserve relationships, promote well-being, and ensure permanency.

CA-FKC 18: Respite Care

Respite care reduces caregiver stress and promotes the stability of placements.

Note: If care is going to continue for an indefinite period of time, the notice and placement preferences in the Aboriginal child welfare laws of the province or territory may apply.

NA The organization does not provide respite care in its resource family homes. 

NA The organization provides kinship care or informal kinship care 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 (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 respite services, including number of children permitted in respite care homes
    • Guidelines for the review of respite care options with resource families
    • Procedures and criteria for matching children with respite caregivers
    • Procedures for providing respite services in response to a crisis
    • Health and safety procedures and protocols
    • Informational materials regarding the respite care program
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Respite caregivers
      4. Resource parents
    • Review case records

  • CA-FKC 18.01

    Respite care options are reviewed with resource parents prior to placement and on a regular basis.

  • FP
    CA-FKC 18.02

    Children are matched with respite caregivers who can meet their needs, and: 
    1. are familiar with their daily routines, preferred foods and activities, and needed therapeutic or medical care; and 
    2. respect their culture, race, ethnicity, language, religion, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

    Interpretation: Children who require therapeutic or medical treatment should be matched with a caregiver that has appropriate skills and qualifications.

  • CA-FKC 18.03

    Respite caregivers offer enriching activities appropriate to the interests, age, development, physical abilities, interpersonal characteristics, culture, and special needs of children.

    Interpretation: When children are involved in regular therapeutic, educational, or employment activities, respite caregivers work with the resource parents to plan for continued participation.

  • FP
    CA-FKC 18.04

    When respite care is provided in response to a crisis, the organization provides needed developmentally, culturally, and age-appropriate interventions to help children cope with trauma or stress associated with the crisis.

    NA The organization does not provide respite care in its resource homes in crisis situations.

  • FP
    CA-FKC 18.05

    Respite caregiver homes have no more than: 
    1. five children with no more than two children under age two; or 
    2. two foster children in treatment foster care.

    Interpretation: Resource parents are expected to meet the same criteria with regard to the total number of children able to reside within the family home regardless of whether children join the family for traditional foster care placement or temporary respite placement. Exceptions to the total number of children approved to reside with the family are usually considered only to accommodate sibling groups, kinship care placements, or if the home if specially licensed by the state or tribe to care for more children. 

    Interpretation: When overnight care is provided, accommodations include sleeping arrangements appropriate to the number, age, special needs, and gender of the individuals in the home.

  • FP
    CA-FKC 18.06

    When children in respite care experience accidents, health problems, or changes in appearance or behaviour, information is promptly recorded and reported to the resource parents and administration, and follow-up occurs, as needed.

  • FP
    CA-FKC 18.07

    Respite caregivers return children only to the resource parents, or another person approved by the resource parents, and follow guidelines for situations that pose a safety risk or when a child requires protection.

    Interpretation: Protocols should provide direction on how to use appropriate organizational or community resources to respond to individuals who are intoxicated by drugs or alcohol, mentally or physically unstable, or who present a safety concern.

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