WHO IS ACCREDITED?

Private Organization Accreditation

Heartland for Children is the not-for-profit agency responsible for the foster care system in Polk, Highlands, and Hardee Counties.
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ORGANIZATION TESTIMONIAL

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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Purpose

Family Preservation and Stabilisation Services improve family functioning, increase child and family well-being, ensure child safety, reduce the need for CPS intervention and the separation of children from their families, and ease the transition to reunification following a separation.

Definition

Family Preservation and Stabilisation Services provide crisis intervention, therapy, counselling, education, support, and advocacy to families who are coping with circumstances that put children at risk of being separated from their families and placed in out-of-home care, or families with children transitioning to reunification following a separation. Family preservation is sometimes considered an alternative response to a Child Protective Services (CA-CPS) intervention.

This section is designed to accommodate programs that provide two levels of service: (1) family preservation and stabilisation services, and (2) intensive family preservation and stabilisation services. Intensive programs typically serve families with children at greater risk of being separated from their families, respond to referrals or requests for service within a shorter period of time, provide more frequent and intensive services, and place stricter limits on caseload size.

While the focus is on children remaining with their biological families, family preservation services are also used to stabilize foster and adoptive placements to prevent re-entry to service systems and facilities.

Update:

  • Revised Standard - 11/15/17

Research Note: Intensive family preservation programs were traditionally intended to reduce out-of-home placement rates and, consequently, placement prevention was initially the outcome of ultimate interest. However, more recent literature criticizes the use of placement prevention as the principal outcome measure and emphasises the importance of also valuing broader aspects of child and family functioning, such as environment, parental capabilities, family interactions, family safety, and child well-being.

Research Note: Studies have shown that at least 25% of all out-of-home placements could have been prevented with access to some form of family preservation and stabilisation services. Research also demonstrates that it is much more difficult to successfully implement FPS services when the family has already experienced child separation. 

Note: Families are considered to be at risk when one or more of the following circumstances exist:

  1. family violence, physical and/or emotional abuse, and neglect;
  2. parent-child conflicts, including those that result in a child running away;
  3. housing problems or financial distress;
  4. substance use conditions;
  5. mental health conditions or serious emotional disturbances;
  6. delinquency or incarceration;
  7. death, divorce, or separation of parents;
  8. resettlement-related stresses experienced by immigrant and refugee families; and/or
  9. special needs presented by chronic illnesses or handicapping conditions. 
Note: Out-of-home placements can include, but are not limited to, placements in: kinship care, family foster care, psychiatric inpatient care, residential treatment, and juvenile justice facilities. 

Note: Popular family preservation models include: 1) the crisis intervention model, 2) the home-based model, and 3) the family treatment model.

Note: Please see CA-FPS Reference List for a list of resources that informed the development of these standards.

Family Preservation and Stabilisation Services Narrative

Self-Study Evidence
    • Provide an overview of the different programs being accredited under this section. The overview should describe:
      1. the program's approach to delivering services;
      2. eligibility criteria;
      3. any unique or special services provided to specific populations; and
      4. major funding streams.
    • If elements of the service (e.g., assessments) are provided by contract with outside programs or through participation in a formal, coordinated service delivery system, provide a list that identifies the providers and the service components for which they are responsible. Do not include services provided by referral.
    • Provide any other information you would like the Peer Review Team to know about these programs.
    • A demographic profile of persons and families served by the programs being reviewed under this service section with percentages representing the following:
      1. racial and ethnic characteristics;
      2. gender/gender identity;
      3. age;
      4. major religious groups; and
      5. major language groups
    • As applicable, a list of groups or classes including, for each group or class:
      1. the type of group/class;
      2. whether the group/class is short-term or ongoing;
      3. how often the group/class is offered;
      4. the average number of participants per session of the group/class, in the last month; and
      5. the total number of participants in the group/class, in the last month
    • A list of any programs that were opened, merged with other programs or services, or closed
    • A list or description of program outcomes and outputs being measured
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