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. 


Children's Foundation of Mid America

James W. Thurman, President/CEO

Children’s Foundation of Mid America has been accredited through COA since 1983. The process of accreditation ensures that we meet or exceed the highest standards in the industry.
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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.

CA-FPS 3: Screening and Intake

The organization’s screening and intake practices ensure that families receive prompt and responsive access to appropriate services.

Interpretation: The organization, if allowed by the referring public authority/agency, may assess and direct family members to other service providers for appropriate 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
  • Referrals procedures need strengthening; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met;
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
  • In a few rare instances urgent needs were not prioritized.
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
  • Urgent needs are often not prioritized, or
  • Services are frequently not initiated in a timely manner; or
  • Applicants are not receiving referrals, as appropriate; or
  • A number of client records are missing important information  or
  • Client participation is inconsistent; or
  • Screening and intake done by referral source and no documentation and/or summary of required information present in case record; 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.,
  • There are 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 procedures
No On-Site Evidence
    • Interview:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Families served
    • Review case records

  • FP
    CA-FPS 3.01

    The organization, whenever possible, responds to referrals or requests for service by directly contacting families within:

    1. 72 hours, if providing family preservation and stabilisation services; or
    2. 24 hours, if providing intensive family preservation and stabilisation services.

    Interpretation: Response time should be appropriate to the urgency of family needs and the level of concern for child and/or family safety. Organizations providing intensive services should be able to respond immediately, if necessary.

    When special circumstances result in the postponement of contact, the organization should document these circumstances, as well as its efforts to initiate contact, within the first 24 hours of referral or request for service.

  • CA-FPS 3.02

    The family is screened and informed about what services will be available and when, and works with the organization to determine how well family members’ needs and risk factors match the organization’s services.

    Interpretation: The organization should consider both the intensity and duration of the services it provides and recommend the most appropriate and least intrusive service alternative that will preserve child and family safety and well-being.

    NA Another organization or service provider is responsible for screening.

  • FP
    CA-FPS 3.03

    Prompt, responsive intake practices:

    1. are culturally responsive;
    2. are trauma-informed;
    3. ensure equitable treatment;
    4. give priority to urgent needs and emergency situations;
    5. support timely initiation of services; and
    6. provide for placement on a waiting list, if applicable. 

    Interpretation: To ensure that transgender and gender non-conforming service recipients are treated with respect and feel safe, intake forms and procedures should allow individuals to self-identify their gender. Additionally, service recipient choice regarding their first names and pronouns should be respected. 

    Interpretation: Trauma-informed intake practices explore whether a service recipient has been exposed to traumatic events and exhibits trauma-related symptoms and/or mental health disorders. A positive screen indicates that an assessment or further evaluation by a trained professional is needed.

  • CA-FPS 3.04

    Families who cannot be served, or cannot be served promptly, are referred or connected to appropriate resources if allowed by contract.

    NA The organization: (1) accepts all service recipients/clients, or (2) only receives service recipients by referral, and is required by contract to accept all referrals, or (3) referrals are not allowed by contract.

  • CA-FPS 3.05

    During intake, the organization gathers information to identify critical service needs and/or determine when a more intensive service is necessary, including:

    1. personal and identifying information;
    2. physical and mental health status, and emergency health needs;
    3. developmental histories; and
    4. safety concerns, including imminent danger or risk of future harm.

    Research Note: According to the National Council for Behavioral Health (NCBH), Mental Health First Aid and Youth Mental Health First Aid are federally recognized evidence-based practices and training programs designed to empower direct service providers with the skills needed to identify and respond appropriately to mental health distress and crises at the point of initial screening. These practices promote early detection and intervention, especially in cases where the service recipient may pose a threat of physical harm to self or others

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